Discussing plans (from left) are: project manager Leanne Buchholz, general manager of The Observer Carl Carter and principal contractor Troy Tenheggeler.
Discussing plans (from left) are: project manager Leanne Buchholz, general manager of The Observer Carl Carter and principal contractor Troy Tenheggeler. Brenda Strong

City shows a heart

GLADSTONE'S most ambitious charity fundraising project has been launched and already the region's businesses are throwing their heart and soul into it.

The concept of a “charity house”, designed and built through community endeavour, then auctioned with the proceeds going to local charity, came to project manager Leanne Buchholz just a few months ago.

Initially the project will involve getting a building block and designing a suitable house plan. With local builder Troy Tenheggeler as principal contractor, it is envisaged the home will be built from donated building materials and volunteer labour.

“When I first talked to Greta Tenheggeler about my idea, I asked her straight out ‘am I crazy?' And with no hesitation she said ‘yes, you are',” said Mrs Buchholz.

“But this is do-able. I have a background in marketing and I've always done things for different charities; I just wanted to do more. My husband and I have bought and sold homes before, we've contracted local builders to build homes for us and we've also renovated homes. I'm not going into this with my eyes closed,” she said.

Mrs Buchholz said it was still early, but there had been a “fantastic response” from the community so far.

“Gladstone is such a giving town and already I've had tradespeople contacting me saying they want to be involved,” she said.

Troy Tenheggeler said it sounded like a great idea when the project was put to him.

As with Mrs Buchholz, he has also been involved in various fundraisers for local charities, but nothing on this scale.

“But I've seen the generosity of the Gladstone community before and this project sounded really exciting,” he said.

“I'll follow this project through from beginning to end and will oversee every aspect of the building, and I'll be doing what I can to get as many people on board as possible.”

Legal and financial advice was sought early in the project and steps are now under way to secure a block of land.

“We're hoping to arouse interest amongst the developers in one of the new subdivisions,” said Mr Tenheggeler.

“Ultimately this house is being built for the purpose of selling, so we need to be mindful of overall property value and the resale value as well. We'll be looking at building a family home – four bedrooms, two bathrooms – a home that'll target second or third-home buyers,” he said.

Mrs Buchholz said the “charity house” project, that could potentially involve 200 people overall, would have an enormous effect on the community.

The pair believe wholeheartedly that a project as ambitious as this will affect the community in a manner not yet experienced in Gladstone.



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