Home sweet home for Andy Barlow

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HANOVER — The dream to build Andy Barlow a home is expected to become a reality before winter.

Ground was broken July 20 at the family’s Main Street property.

Efforts to raise funds for The Andy Project, as it has come to be known, began about a year ago. The goal was set at $40,000 but with only about $9,000 received to date, the project stalled.

Recently Howard Bailey, a longtime builder from Andover, stepped forward to volunteer his services as contractor and has gathered many local subcontractors and suppliers who have committed to help.

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Asked what compelled him to take on this project, Bailey said, “I’ve seen Andy around the community over the years and read the article in the paper awhile back and thought what a great thing, and somehow I felt moved, that I was being led to help out.”

Andy, his family, and his friends are overwhelmed with joy and filled with a deep sense of gratitude for Bailey’s kindness and generosity.

As reported in the Bethel Citizen last year, Barlow, a lifelong resident of Hanover, grew up on the family homestead on Main Street. He is a brother, uncle and friend to many. He is an active outdoorsman, lumberjack, gardener, handyman, teacher, and an amazing skier, having served as a dedicated volunteer instructor for many years at Maine Adaptive Sports and Recreation.

Although paralyzed from the waist down for most of his life, Barlow displays limitless ability, according to the article. He uses a wheelchair and his all-terrain vehicle to get around but mobility can be challenging in an old New England farmhouse. His friends realized that the declining condition of the property was making it more and more difficult for him to maintain, so they decided to start a campaign to build him a home.

Many step up

Bailey’s plan for a stick-built house with a porch and a garage is on target, and the home is expected to be completed before winter. The home will be accessible for easy mobility and will be equipped with radiant heated floors and a wood stove as a secondary source of heat.

Some of the subcontractors offering labor, supplies and equipment include framers Dave Berry and Dave Brown; builder Steve Pelletier; electrician Mike Brown; Community Energy for plumbing and heating; D. A. Wilson for groundwork; and various roofers, painters and sheetrock installers from the area. Hancock Lumber has donated pine lumber for the interior walls and Western Maine Supply has contributed numerous supplies.

The funds received initially for the house will be used to furnish the interior. Monetary donations for furnishings will be accepted at Pie Night on Wednesday, Aug. 19.

Donations are tax-deductible and will be accepted in the form or cash or check. All monies received at the event will be turned over by the library trustees to the project’s fiscal agent, HelpHopeLive, a 501(c)3 tax-exempt nonprofit organization.

‘Pie Night’ on Wednesday

The first community fundraiser for The Andy Project will be held at 6 p.m.  Wednesday, Aug. 19, at the Hanover Picnic Pavilion, 25 Ferry Road, between the Hanover Town Office and Library on Route 2 East in Hanover.

The public is invited to attend, and may bring a dessert pie to share.

All proceeds will go toward The Andy Project to benefit Andy Barlow.

For more information about the project, go to www.TheAndyProject.com or www.HelpHopeLive.org

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