Volunteers build a wheelchair ramp for a boy in Castle Rock

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One of 10-year-old Dominic L.’s favorite things to do is go out. However, he weighs 95 pounds, is confined to a wheelchair, and his home did not have a ramp or patio for him to get out of.

Now, thanks to an annual program aimed at helping children and the disabled, Dominic can easily enjoy the sun in his garden.

Dominic’s mother Fallon Cranston said she took him outside wearing him, but admitted it got harder and harder as he continued to grow. Cranston moved with his son to Castle Rock from Adams County last year to a house that had ramp access in the garage, but no patio or ramp around the house.

“Before, the only way for me to get it out into the garden was to wear it,” Cranston said. “Before COVID we tried to travel, but last year we were really stuck at home, and there was a lot inside.”

Dominic uses a wheelchair to get around due to several conditions, including autism, cerebral palsy, and intractable epilepsy.

While scrolling through Facebook one day, Cranston said she saw something in one of her groups for children with disabilities about programs that help build bridges and ramps. The program was Blitz Build, an annual event hosted by the Homebuilders Foundation (HBF).

Blitz Build is an annual three-day event that features a selection of ramps and bridges built for metro Denver families with children and those with disabilities.

“I didn’t even know there were programs like this,” Cranston said. “It was amazing to find out that there were bands that could do that. I will tell other families. What they did for us was amazing.

Labor and materials for the project are provided by the sponsors and participating teams. Since 2011, when Blitz Build began, more than 200 ramps, valued at $ 800,000, have been built. The 2021 presenting sponsor is Fiberon, an American manufacturer of decks, railings and alternative siding to wood.

Other sponsors for Blitz Build 2021 were Alpine Lumber, Colorado Housing & Finance Authority, FirstBank, Allweather Wood, Boise Cascase, PASCO and Weyerhaeuser.

Beth Forbes, executive director of HBF, said the construction of the terrace for Dominic is one of many projects in the region between June 10 and June 12.

This year, the Blitz Build teams built 14 ramps for 13 people. In total, Forbes said HBF has 200 volunteers, as well as experts from Berkeley Homes to lead the projects.

“What we’re doing here is bringing a level of safety to families while improving the quality of life,” Forbes said. “We take all of our volunteers and match them with qualified captains. “

For Dominic’s project, Larry Malone, of Berkeley Homes, was appointed project captain. With a group of 16 volunteers, Malone said he built a 10ft by 16ft bridge and ramp in just over four hours.

“The volunteers did a great job,” he said. “This program is so important because it allows us to improve a person’s life a little. In this case, Dominic will continue to grow and his mother cannot continue to carry him outside. I take my hat off to the Home Builders Foundation. They are doing all the work to make it happen. We show and build.

After construction was completed, Cranston said Dominic immediately began using the bridge to exit.

While the actual construction of Blitz Build only takes three days a year, requests for citizen assistance are accepted year round. Learn more about the program at hbfdenver.org/blitz-build.


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