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W.Va. family, helpers gather for appreciation dinner

February 20, 2006|by TRISH RUDDER

trishr@herald-mail.com

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - More than 100 people attended an appreciation dinner Saturday night for their help in renovating the Shingleton home in Berkeley Springs.

Molly Logsdon and Lori Sipes, friends of the Shingletons, organized the renovation while the Shingletons were in Durham, N.C., where Adrianna Shingleton, 10, received a bone marrow transplant and was being treated for leukemia at Duke University Hospital.

A video of the work in progress and the Shingleton's reaction when they came home was shown after the dinner.

"This is an answered prayer," Lisa Shingleton said on the video. "I did not know how we could bring Adrianna into the house."

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About 200 people volunteered their time, funds and/or merchandise from August to December to complete the renovations, Logsdon said, so that Adrianna could return to a necessary "germ-free environment" because the transplant suppressed her immune system.

Lisa Shingleton, Adrianna's mother, said the house was in the process of renovation by her husband, Paul Shingleton, when they left for Durham. She called Sipes in August and asked if she would clean the house for them.

Karla Ziler organized a fundraiser at Pleasant View Elementary, where Lisa Shingleton taught third grade before Adrianna's illness.

"I would do it all over again," Ziler said. "The fact that businesses and individuals came together for a member of our community is what made this so special."

Her husband, Jeff Ziler, said, "the most valuable thing you can give is your time."

Marcus Carter, a superintendent with Tel Builders in Martinsburg, W.Va., said he installed the new kitchen cabinets and the countertop and trim work.

"It makes me feel proud of what was done for the Shingletons and the community. I'd do it every day if I could," he said.

Retiree Roy Penley said he opened the house up every day for the workers.

"I look at the contractors, and they all look different without their saws and hammers," he said.

"They all worked together, and it is great for the community to come together," he said.

Tim Smith, general manager of Gantt's Excavating and Construction Co. in Martinsburg, said "working together collectively in unison is awesome and restores our faith in humanity."

Dianna Gantt said, "I think it warms the heart to see goodness in people when they help others."

"We are just really overwhelmed by the whole thing," said Lisa Shingleton.

Paul Shingleton added, "I always thought it would be great to be part of a community project. I never thought we would be the ones to receive it," he said.

"Blessed are the givers," said Sipes.

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