Project Hope: Painting Together for A Stronger Community

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By: Brendan McDonough

Reporter for North Tonawanda

Did you know that to paint a house it could cost $7,000.00 or more?

Each year Painters Plus and owner Jesse Gooch donate their services to one lucky homeowner who gets their house painted for free.

The event is called ‘Project Hope,’ which “stands for helping others,” said Gooch.



They have been holding the event for the past eight years, but this year’s recipient possibly needed it more than any other before her.

Amy Raines was selected as this year’s winner. Her boyfriend, Richard Fike, said this could not have come at a better time.

“I can’t put into words what this means to Amy,” said Fike.

“It has been a few years filled with nothing but loss for her. At the end of July her son committed suicide. Eight months earlier her brother passed away. The year before that her father passed away. Needless to say, this has been a nice burden lifted for her.”

Unsatisfied with only helping one family this year, Painters Plus decided for the first time to help a second family in Tonawanda.

It’s not as simple as just painting the house though. They are also doing landscaping work; helping to improve the neighborhood one house at a time.



“If we are in a nice neighborhood and there is someone that needs a paint job and just can not afford it – because of their financial situation – by us being able to do that for them it sort of becomes a domino effect where the neighbors start to improve their homes and then eventually it helps neighbors to start working with each other,” said Gooch.

A true community event, people of all ages come out to help make a family’s life a little better.  This year was no exception.

Kevin McDermott participated with his young son not only to help out, but also to educate him on the importance of giving back.

“It is so important to give back to other who need it and I hope this event will teach my son a few life-long lessons, “said McDermott.



Also lending a hand at the event was Mayor Art Pappas. He openly admits he is not much of a painter but, like many, wants to lend a helping hand to those who need it the most.

“It really helps people in the community,” said Mayor Pappas. “Jesse has been very, very generous.”

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