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March 23, 2011 2:25 PM CDT

AGC Charities Renovates Home of Child With Rare Epilepsy Disorder

Dozens of contractors volunteer to help family


AGC Charities, Inc. held its second annual Operation Opening Doors project in Las Vegas on March 19.

AGC Charities, Inc. held its second annual Operation Opening Doors project in Las Vegas on March 19.
Dozens of volunteer contractors renovated the home of a Las Vegas family whose 16-year old daughter is suffering from a rare form of epilepsy that is increasingly forcing her to be wheelchair bound. The renovation project, organized by the philanthropic organization AGC Charities, Inc., was the group's second annual Operation Opening Doors effort.

"We can't build a healthier life for Ashlyn, but we can make things a lot more comfortable and safe for her and her family," said Tom Brown, president of San Diego, California-based Sierra Pacific West, Inc. and the president of AGC Charities, referring to Ashlyn Rotta, the 16 year-old. "It is just amazing to see such an overwhelming response to our call for help with this project."

As part of the volunteer effort, contractors from a many Las Vegas firms donated time and labor to renovate the home of the Rotta family, whose daughter is suffering from an extremely rare form of childhood onset epilepsy. Those improvements included installing new interior and exterior wheelchair ramps, renovating Ashlyn's bathroom to make it handicap accessible, and improving wheelchair access to the girl's room and the rest of the house.

Brown said the contractors' volunteer efforts were supported by dozens of construction firms from around the country, who donated over $10,000 to help purchase key construction supplies, including a new accessible shower, concrete, stucco, wood and drywall. He added that the project was scheduled to coincide with the national convention of the Associated General Contractors of America, which begins March 21st.

Brown noted that the Las Vegas division of construction firm Jaynes Corporation volunteered as the lead contractor for the charitable effort. ?This has to be one of the most rewarding projects we have ever worked on,? said Steve Brooke, the firm's senior vice president.

Brown noted that Lee & Sakahara Architects' Gary Congdon donated his time to draft the renovation plans and secure construction permits for the project. Other firms supporting the effort included New York-based Blue Book Building and Construction Network. View complete list of project supporters.

Brown added that he was particularly impressed that so many contractors were eager to volunteer their time and donate money to support the effort. He noted that, all told, over 23 firms and individuals either contributed time, money or both to support this year's Operation Opening Doors project.

About the Author

With over 33,000 member firms, AGC of America is the leading association for the construction industry. AGC provides a full range of services satisfying the needs and concerns of its members, thereby improving the quality of construction and protecting the public interest. Learn More at


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