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Group of contractors, military organizations, volunteers complete construction projects for military widow

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Posted at 8:31 PM, Mar 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-19 13:22:00-04

AURORA, Colo. — Bonnie Lake’s home is usually quiet.

“The kids are gone and the grandkids are gone,” she said.

Her husband is also gone. Eddie Lake passed away from cancer in 2016.

“He was a marine,” she said, describing his service in Vietnam. “The mortars went off and hit him in the back.”

Eddie was awarded a Purple Heart for his service. But his photos and his medals aren’t the only reminders of his life left around Bonnie’s Aurora home.

“He started projects, and they are projects he couldn’t finish,” she said.

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Those projects included a kitchen countertop made of plywood that was set to be replaced but never was. Floorboards piled up to redo a hardwood floor that were never assembled. Overhead can lights were not fully installed.

Bonnie lived with those half-done repairs and projects for multiple years after her husband died.

It wasn’t until she joined the local VFW and another member saw what she was dealing with that things started to change. The VFW started the ball rolling, other veteran groups stepped in to help and Denver7 told Bonnie’s story.

“Ed and I never asked for help from anybody,” Bonnie said. “We always did everything on our own.”

Viewers donated to Denver7 Gives to help Bonnie. Denver7 reporter Jason Gruenauer called in help from a contractor who had assisted on a previous story, and things snowballed from there.

On a recent Wednesday morning, Bonnie’s home was no longer quiet.

“It’s a very loud and happy noise,” she said, as the sounds of saws and air nailers filled her home.

Multiple local contractors showed up to help finish Bonnie’s construction projects. Chris Hock of Earth Saving Solutions donated and installed a brand new countertop, but refused to stop there. Members of his team went to work on multiple projects around Bonnie’s home, including installing the hardwood floor.

“It’s a quick remodel. This is just 220 square feet of flooring, six can lights, little plumbing — it’s just what we do,” Hock said.

Jose Avedano and his team at Avedano Installations also worked on the floor, as well as installing a new sink, faucet, garbage disposal and overhead kitchen lights. Also assisting were contractors from Jude Electric, Rich’s Home Improvements and Storm Contracting Solutions, who donated their time and a lot of the materials.

Other materials were paid for through donations made to Denver7 Gives.

“I never knew there were so many people out there that would help somebody that they don’t know,” Bonnie said.

Within the day, the majority of her kitchen projects were completed. Bonnie had said in the past that she used to “yell at” her late husband when she saw his half-finished jobs. Now, she says she’ll have different thoughts.

“I’m gonna think about my husband and how he started it, but I’m gonna think about the guys that finished it for him,” she said. “They’re really special people, very special people.”

So much of the materials and labor were donated, that Denver7 was able to donate the remaining balance of the Denver7 Gives funds to VFW Post 3631, who will continue work on Bonnie’s home, including renovating a first floor bedroom for her.

Other groups involved in helping Bonnie include:

  • VFW Post 3631 and Auxiliary
  • American Legion
  • Military Order of the Purple Heart and Auxiliary
  • Valor Roofing
  • My Brother’s Keeper

Denver7 features the stories of people who need help and now you can help them with a cash donation through Denver7 Gives. One hundred percent of contributions to the fund will be used to help people in our local community.