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Local Widow Gets House Renovations Finished by Volunteers

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Updated: 3/20/2014 9:35 pm
The Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic will officially begin Friday morning, but two of its professional golfers spent Thursday giving back, and with help from college students, a Gulfport woman now has a better home. Taking a break from the green to give back in Gulfport, Willie Wood and Bob Tway are hammering away for Habitat for Humanity. Wood says, "Folks on the Gulf Coast here have gone through a lot for many years, and it's good to help people." The homeowner was left with an incomplete home after her husband, a U.S. airman, died of congestive heart failure.

Thusrsday, she smiled as the volunteers finished her late husband's renovations. Engle, the widow, says, “It's just remarkable. Everybody’s in good spirits. They're young. They feel good. I wish I had half the energy they have.” Tway says, "I feel a real fondness for this because I've been here so many years and I saw all the destruction after and all the rebuilding. It's neat to see." The golfers were happy to help rebuild the home, but say the hard work was done by the students from the University of Connecticut who are volunteering for their Spring Break. Rebecca Klosterman, a student at the University of Connecticut, says, "We had the opportunity to help build a house. We'll probably never have this opportunity ever again, so I'm going to take advantage of it." A shed on the property was demolished by the student volunteers who were excited for the opportunity to work alongside some professional golfers. Tway also says, "These kids from Connecticut that come here instead of going to the beach for Spring Break, they're out here helping people building houses. That’s really special."

Klosterman also says, "I’ve gone and partied for Spring Break, but I wanted to do something really worthwhile." This was the third day on site for students, and the first time doing construction for the golfers, who tee off in the tournament Friday. Willie Wood and Bob Tway have been coming to the Coast for years, playing in the Pro-Am tournament, which benefits Habitat for Humanity efforts.

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