Clark County Press, Neillsville, Clark Co. WI

August 11, 2010, Front Page 

Transcribed by Dolores Mohr Kenyon



Neillsville church completes community project


By Peter Spicer


Living Hope Evangelical Free Church volunteers recently completed a project to make a Neillsville family’s home more handicapped-accessible by constructing a wheelchair ramp leading into the back of the home.


The approximately 30-foot wheelchair ramp was constructed at Troy and Sandy Back’s home, located at 1402 Hewett Street.  The Backs have four children.  Their 11-year-old daughter, Nykya, has cerebral palsy and will be able to use the wheelchair ramp to get in and out of the home.


Getting Nykya into and out of the home was becoming more problematic for the Backs.


“We carried her [in and out],” said Sandy, who admitted the family had carried her in and out of the home since they’ve owned the home for approximately seven years, but now that Nykya is 11 years old and growing “It’s not so easy anymore.”


“I think [the project is] pretty cool,” said Sandy, who explained it was nice the volunteers donated their time and effort ts to construct the wheelchair ramp.


The wheelchair ramp will give Nykya more independence, said Sandy.


Approximately 10 volunteers helped with the project, which began Monday, Aug. 2, and concluded Thursday, Aug. 5.


Living Hope Youth Pastor Alan Dunham, who helped construct the ramp, stated it was ‘really exciting” completing the project for a family he did not previously know.


Dunham also enjoyed the camaraderie different age levels of volunteers, including teenagers and senior citizens, enjoyed while working together to complete the project. 


More churches should reach out to help others in their communities, said Dunham.


The idea to help an area family came from the Living Hope Evangelical Free Church Outreach Committee.


Funds from Neillsville residents and Living hope church members Jay and Penny Wilke’s three-day May garage sale, totaling over $1,500, were used to fund the project.


Living Hope church members and other community members donated items for the garage sale, which the Wilkes holds twice a year in May and September.


The project was the second recently completed project by church volunteers. Approximately $1,800 raised from last September’s garage sale helped complete a remodeling project at a house owned by Brian and Melissa Drinka, whose daughter, Lorna, has Down syndrome.


The newest recipients of Living Hope’s generosity are grateful for their gift.


“We’re thankful they’re here doing this,” concluded Sandy Back.




Living Hope Evangelical Free Church volunteers Cordell Kapusta (l) and Anthony Meshnick shovel dirt into wheelbarrows Thursday, Aug. 5 while helping construct a wheelchair ramp at Troy and Sandy Back’s Neillsville home, located at 1402 Hewett Street.  The Back’s daughter, Nykya, has cerebral palsy and will use the ramp to enter and exit the home.  Living Hope donated the time and funds to construct the ramp.




A handicapped-accessible wheelchair ramp was nearly completed by the morning of Thursday, Aug. 5, at Troy and Sandy Back’s Neillsville residence.  Living Hope Evangelical Free Church volunteers began building the ramp at the back of the home earlier this week. (Photos by Peter Spicer/Clark County Press)




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