Thirty-seven families in King and Snohomish Counties received newly constructed ramps for their homes on May 21 during the 23rd annual Master Builders Association Rampathon.
One of those families was Kenmore’s Robert and Patricia Leas, who in addition to a new ramp had a new deck built by employees of Builders Capital and friends and family.
Robert Leas, 90, is a World War II Navy veteran who requires a wheelchair and is nearly blind, his wife Patricia, 85, recently broke her hip and couldn’t help him down their old ramp, which was connected to a rotting deck.
“Getting this ramp and tearing the old deck down and putting the new one in, words can’t really express how we feel about it,” Patricia Leas said. “It’s just really nice.”
The couple has lived in their house since 1958, when Patricia Leas said it was essentially a three-bedroom cabin.
Robb Kenyon with Builders Capital said the project was good for everyone involved.
This was Kenyon’s fourth year participating in the Rampathon.
“I think it’s just a way to get everybody together on a project where we feel like we’re giving back,” he said.
Before the new deck and ramp was constructed, Kenyon said Robert Leas was essentially confined to his living room and kitchen, requiring help from his children to leave his house.
Now, Kenyon hopes the couple will have greater mobility, and a deck to enjoy.
“Maybe he could actually go outside in the summer on his deck,” Kenyon said.
Patricia Leas said she and her husband had already used the deck and ramp, which has a gentle incline, and planned on using it much more.
Project candidates are selected by the Master Builders Association, and individual volunteer groups are given the opportunity to pick projects they think they can complete.
Kenyon’s team surveyed the Leas’ house, and seeing the condition of the deck, decided they would install both a new deck and ramp for the couple.
The team of around 10 began around 8 a.m. and finished at nearly 9 p.m., with nearly 25 people lending a hand throughout the day.
“It’s a much bigger project than we took on last year but we got it done,” Kenyon said.
The lumber for the project was donated by Dunn Lumber and all the workers were volunteers.