Habitat for Humanity Palm Beach County Dedicates Rehabbed Lake Park Home of Air Force Pilot Hero
Daughter, Family, and Law Firm Partners Celebrate the Rehabilitation
WEST PALM BEACH (July 30, 2010) – Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County (HFHPBC) will dedicate their 105th home on Friday, September 10, 2010. The house was donated by Deborah Knapp, a paralegal at Searcy, Denney, Scarola, Barnhart & Shipley.
The house, at 719 Date Palm Drive in Lake Park, belonged to her father, Philip R. Scott. Scott served as a pilot in the United States Air Force during World War II and flew a B-24 Bomber. When his plane was shot down over Austria, he spent days adrift at sea, where he was rescued – and was the sole survivor of the incident. Scott was taken to Vis, a small island off the coast of Italy to recover from his injuries, where he received an Honorable Discharge and a medal for bravery from the Air Force.
Scott returned stateside and became an engineer at Pratt & Whitney in Connecticut and subsequently the Palm Beach Gardens plant, where he worked till retirement. According to Knapp, had her mother been living, she would have been especially proud to know that their marital home was donated to Habitat for Humanity; Knapp and her sister are also very proud that their father has done such a charitable act.
“I donated our family home to Habitat for Humanity in order to provide a home that could be used for the good of the community” said Knapp. “Habitat for Humanity is a wonderful charitable organization that provides homes to people who might otherwise never have one and I wanted to give back to the community and the Town of Lake Park, both of whom have served my family for over 50 years.”
The new homeowners, Jomekeyia McNeil and her three sons, Ramon, 9; Dakota, 5; and Tarvarus, 4; are thrilled at the prospect of becoming home-owners and are anxious to start a new chapter of their lives. “Having our own home without the worry of landlords raising the rent every year or going into foreclosure without notice has been a longtime dream,” said McNeil. “I’ve set goals and enrolled in school to obtain my BA in Business Administration to give my children a better life, and this shows others it doesn’t matter where you’re from but what you’re doing to get ahead.” McNeil has put her sweat equity hours into rehabilitating the home as well as at the Habitat ReStore.
Bob Frein, president of the Habitat Board of Directors added, “This donation from the Knapp and Scott families, and the dedication and acceptance of this home by the McNeil family, demonstrates the essence of the mission of the Habitat organization – a true “family” of employees, donors, volunteers, and partner-families who all work together to make the American Dream of home ownership a reality for deserving folks who complete the rigorous requirements to become Habitat homeowners.” Frein added, “This is a wonderful day for all involved, and our sincere thanks go out to the Knapps and the Scotts for making this possible.”
In addition to the donation of the home from Knapp, Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in West Palm Beach donated $5,500 dollars and more than 580 volunteer hours to the home. HFHPBC also used the Lake Park home as the site for their annual summer camp.
Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County is a non-profit organization dedicated to the elimination of sub-standard housing by building simple, decent, safe, affordable houses for low income, hardworking qualified families in partnership with God, community volunteers and local organizations. Founded in 1986, it is an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International.