NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. (WFLA) – When we first introduced you to 85-year old Gordon Page, the Korean War Veteran was in tears as he waded through his New Port Richey home.
The record rainfall in August sent water into his home damaging the structure and much of what was inside. It was one of his darkest hours. But the community stepped up to the plate and helped Gordon and his wife, who spent years caring for other veterans.
Fuccillo Kia president Billy Fuccillo made a ‘huge’ donation of 30-thousand dollars. 25-thousand came out of his pocket, and 5-thousand dollars came from dealership employees. That got the ball rolling. Countless other groups and organizations stepped up to the plate, offering to help.
“When we heard this was a vet who helps other vets, it just doesn’t get any better, so it was a way for us to give back a little bit.”
Due to the extensive water damage, drywall in the house had to be removed, the inner walls had to be pressure washed and treated to prevent mold growth. That alone cost thousands. Wood floors and cabinets also had to be disposed of.
Weeks later, the drywall is back up, and volunteers are taping and painting. Gordon and his wife Myrna are hoping they can have their bedroom and bathroom completed so they can move in this weekend and stay in their home while the remainder of the work is completed.
Marvin Baden is with a church group mission from Fruitland Park in Central Florida. He and several other volunteers are at the Page house painting and working on trim work. He says the group was touched when they heard the Page’s plight.
“It was a job, it was a project that we just fell in love with,” Baden recounted. The mission group works through pascorebuildstogether.org, a larger organization aiding those affected by flood damage.
As for Gordon and his wife, tears are replaced by smiles. He can’t thank those who’ve helped him enough. “The first person I want to thank is Billy Fuccillo,” Page expressed. “Without him we wouldn’t have been able to do any of this. Page also is thankful for the numerous volunteers at his home. “Without all of these people, I don’t know what we would have done.”