The Blue House in Louisville's Parkland neighborhood was in dire need of repairs. After a report on WHAS11 News, the community responded in a big way.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – The music is flowing with an upbeat tune in the Blue House in Louisville's Parkland neighborhood.
But the one thing that hasn't been flowing here for two years is hot water, and The Blue House founder, orchestra veteran Keith Cook told us, that’s been a problem, “People use the restroom, bunches of hand sanitizer around.”
But, the funds just weren't there for a new hot water tank. The available money, every penny, is instead focused on the 20-year mission here, kids aged 6 to 17. Violin lessons in one of Louisville’s toughest neighborhoods. As Cooks points out, “This is just another avenue to try to have another way out, another path, more positive path.”
WHAS11’s original story in March showed you the dire situation with the 116-year-old home. Severe mold and cracks in the walls from years of rainy day leaks, spaces too small to handle the growing interest in the program, which wasn't just teaching music, but saving lives.
Like mom Vean Thompson's 9 children who are graduates. She told us, “It kept them out of trouble and it kept them focused and it benefitted them a whole lot.
Our story hit a nerve. The folks at GE had seen our report and donated not only a new hot water heater but hired Maupin Plumbing Company to install it. The total cost: about $1500.00. Appliance Park picked up the entire cost.
Cook also showed up the 10-page donation list from our first in March. Checks flowed in from Shelbyville, Floyds Knobs, Crestwood to the tune of $22,000. A separate online CrowdRise fundraiser has collected $23,000.
Susan Collins of east Louisville drove down to the blue house in person to hand deliver her check of $1,000.
Ted Champion and a group of volunteers from Christ Church United Methodist on Brownsboro Road have repaired windows, installed a security door, and are tackling the moldy walls next.
Champion says, “You can see the damage above the bathroom door. We're going to fix that.”
Louisville roofer Tom O’Banion cut Cook a deal, installing gutters and stopping the leaks on the lower section of the roof.
But there are four layers of roof on the house, right down to the original wooden shingles, O’Banion did the crucial patchwork. He says, “You got shingles missing right here. There’s a hole right here in the roof you can stick your finger down into the attic.”
The driveway, created 116-years-ago, couldn't fit any cars.
So Luke Haire, owner of Champion Waterproofing, donated his time and equipment to shore up a wall, concrete a short section of the driveway, and put down gravel.
Haire told us, “The problem he was having, people were parking in front of his house when he was trying to operate his business. They didn't realize he was working.”
One woman even gave money to repaint The Blue House, says Cook “In fact one of the contributions, a couple of hundred dollars, and the woman said, perhaps this will buy you more cans of blue paint.”
But the biggest problem still exits. The entire roof needs to be replaced. At a cost of $20,000, that would wipe out what Cook wants to spend on music scholarships and violins for kids who can’t afford them.
If you’d like to help him out, Send checks and donations to: WESTEC (the business name of the Blue House), 1316 South 28th Street, Louisville KY 40211.