Tonawanda News — For the fourth year, a local business owner is holding a contest to refurbish one North Tonawanda home this summer.
Painters Plus, located on Walck Road, released plans this week for a contest called "Helping Others Paint Exteriors", better known as Project HOPE, which will entail a sweeping makeover for one homeowner in economic straits.
Jesse Gooch, the company's owner, said he began the contest in 2011 in an effort to improve the community and prevent the onset of blight.
"It has always been my passion to help people and to make a difference in my community," Gooch said. "During these tough economic times, it has been a struggle for people to maintain or improve their homes. I have seen many homes in the area that have loose and peeling paint, dingy colors, and rotted siding."
Three houses, on Linwood Avenue, and Wheatfield Street and Robinson Street, have received makeovers during the last three summers, with the selectees' homes pressure washed, primed and painted by the Painters Plus team and their volunteers. Gooch said he will select a person or family that is either disabled, elderly, suffering financial hardships or a veteran in need.
"Are these people neglecting their homes or do they want to improve their homes but don't have the physical or financial means?" he said. "I believe that in many cases it's not neglect. And that's what drove me to start and continue with the Painters Plus project."
The project will also receive some attention from city officials, including Mayor Rob Ortt and several city council members, who will volunteer during the project.
"I can't thank Jesse and Painters Plus enough for their investment in our city," Ortt said. "Project HOPE has helped change homes, neighborhoods and lives. I am sure this year will be no different.”