A Dream comes true!
Many of the Lions Club members that volunteered to help build the Bungert home pose with the recipients at the reception.
In the beginning there was conversation-John Fisher, zone chair from Lions Club Zone 19 C-5 and Dan Comsia, Zone chair from zone 19 C-1 about a special project that could be done together to serve the greater Tacoma/Pierce County in which the clubs of the two zones reside. The idea raised was that we could partner with Habitat for Humanity to build for a quadriplegic veteran and his wife in the Salishan area of Tacoma. Financial commitments were made by 21 clubs in Pierce County to raise $12,500 with matching funds of $12,500 from Lions Clubs International Foundation and an additional $25,000 from Habitat for Humanity to build this special house.
Under bright sunshine, ground was broken and blessed in July, 2006 with a number of Lions present and the dream of this special home began. On the 24th of February, 2007, under dark skies and chilling rain, the dream became a reality for Tom and Beverly Bungert as their new home was blessed and dedicated. Tom Bungert was a U.S. Navy veteran who suffered a broken neck in an automobile accident 15 years ago which left him as a quadriplegic. Tom and Beverly were married in 2004 after they met at the National Veterans Wheelchair Games in 1998.
From mid September when work on the house first began until the blessing/dedication, many Lions spent their Saturdays and a few weekdays working diligently with the Bungerts. “Lions came out in force, “said Maureen Fife, CEO of Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity. Through drizzle and sunshine, Lions came and made a special dream come true.
The Bungert home is a first of its kind design especially for those who are quadriplegic. It has a specially designed shower to accommodate Tom’s needs. “I remember the first time that I heard Tom speak about the future house,” said Dan Comsia of Lakewood First Lions. “He had not been able to take a shower since the accident and he talked about the first shower in this house would be at least six hours long.” The house will be a model for other houses for quadriplegics for Habitat for Humanity internationally.
Amid laughter and tears of joy, the house was blessed room by room by Lakewood First Lions member, Dan Comsia and John Fisher of Spanapark Early Risers. Following the presentation of a gold house key by Family Partner Denny Nelson, the Bungerts cut the cake and the Dream came True!! As Lions know well, our motto is WE SERVE!! We have Served to make a new beginning for Tom and Beverly Bungert!!
For more information about the Lions Clubs call Ed Kane at 253-588-6637.
Article prepared by Dan Comsia
Photos by Ed Kane, Freelance Graphics