Local businesses help Lawsons [UPDATED]Published 11:08am Friday, November 9, 2012 Updated 11:08am Friday, November 9, 2012
Fergus Falls has been known as a giving community, and many area businesses and individuals have stepped forward without being asked recently to give labor, supplies and funds to a family that needs it most.
Four-year-old Isaiah Lawson was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of cancer, in January, and the life of the Lawson family was turned upside down.
Although Isaiah’s condition has improved greatly, he will never be able to return to a life in his old home. Isaiah will need to live in a house that meets 13 requirements. The house cannot have a basement, carpet or regular insulation among several other requirements set by doctors, said head of the Isaiah Lawson building fund fundraising committee Steve Gundersen.
The Lawsons made a plan to build a new house, but they had no idea what would happen next. Dozens of donations began pouring in from community members, and as construction began, business after business stepped forward, volunteering to provide supplies and services free of charge or at deep discounts, Gundersen said.
“These businesses came out and offered to either completely donate or give a deep discount because they have been following this story and wanted to help,” he said. “They want to be partners with this little boy who is struggling with a pretty serious cancer.”
Pro Build has been the single biggest contributor, saving the Lawson family about $8,000 on labor and supplies. The business provided wood, sheet rock, shingles, siding and almost everything on the outside of the building, Gundersen said.
Norson Window and Glass showed up completely unannounced and said they wanted to help. Workers came with a truck and trailer, and three hours later, the Lawson house had brand new gutters. Before they left, they said “don’t worry about the bill,” said Gundersen.
Newman Painting said they would do all of the painting free of charge, and Sherwin-Williams Paint said they would provide all of the paint, he said.
Seventeen businesses have stepped forward to help so far, and Gundersen said he never expected this.
Kay Braun, the former owner of Wild Rose Floral, even requested all who wanted to give memorial gifts donate to the Isaiah Lawson Building Fund in her memory instead.
The building is still on schedule to meet its Christmas deadline, and although he will undergo treatment in Fargo for several weeks, Isaiah should be able to spend Christmas in his new, safe home.
Thanks to residents and area businesses, $105,000 of the house’s total cost of $180,000 has been raised so far, and people have not stopped giving, said Gundersen.
The following is a list of businesses that have provided labor and services to the house either free or at a deep discount.
• Pro Build
• BCI Construction
• Fergus Electric
• Earl Strande Excavating
• Plumbers INC.
• Cullins Home Center
• Seland Floor Center
• Nature’s Garden World
• The Rental Store
• Norson Window and Glass
• Salvesen Construction
• Walvatne Construction
• Sherwin-Williams Paint
• Newman Painting
• Cornerstone Countertops
• Olson Furniture
• Quality Overhead