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Volunteers Help Bring Heat to Homeowners Affected by Landslide

About two dozen volunteers are working this week to help replace a gas line damaged by a landslide at a home along Sewickley-Oakmont Road.

Facing a winter without access to gas and central heating, Richard and Faith Everson planned to get through the cold temperatures using space heaters they had purchased for each room in their house. 

Richard, 83, and Faith, 74, own a one-story, split-level four-bedroom house along Sewickley-Oakmont Road. In April, a landslide caused part of their front yard to collapse and spill onto the well-used thoroughfare, restricting traffic for months. The gas line to the house was damaged in the process and shut off by the gas company. 

On Oct. 30, about two dozen volunteers arrived to help clear land and dig a trench along the driveway for installation of a new gas line — ensuring that the couple will have central heating as the temperature drops.

Work on the project will continue Monday and Tuesday. 

"Hopefully, they'll have gas by Wednesday," said Charlie Wingerd, a local geologist who led the volunteer project after writing a grant that provided $1,000 toward the rental of equipment to do the job. 

The Eversons have no children and are living on a fixed income. Wingerd, who said he got to know the couple after stopping by out of curiousity about the landslide in the spring, said Richard Everson reminds him of his own father. 

"He's a World War II vet and the same age as my dad," Wingerd said. 

After that first 90-minute conversation, Wingerd called elected officials on their behalf. He then helped raise money to help offset some of the costs of repairs the Eversons' faced, working with the Heritage Presbyterian Church in Wexford and even attempting a lemonade stand this summer in Perrysville. 

Through the connections and money raised, the couple was able to install an electric water heater earlier this year and hire an engineer they've paid to do a study on what repairs would be needed to restore the yard and at what cost. 

"That Charlie is a saint," Richard Everson said. "He just came by and offered to help, and he's still doing all he can." 

The cause of the landslide is still unknown. Heavy spring rains may have contributed to it, but "why it gave away after all these years, who knows," Everson said. 

The house, with 2,788-square-feet of living area, was built in 1961. Everson has owned the home since 1973. 

Volunteers working this week at the house included men from St. John's Lutheran Church, Eagle Scouts from Troop 368, and members of the North Hills School Marching Band. 

What do you think of the volunteers' efforts? Tell us in the comments.

Mark A. November 14, 2011 at 04:11 PM
Charlie, Don't let anything ED says annoy you. If you look at his profile you'll see that every single comment he leaves is designed to anger the readers of the article he's commenting on. The best thing you can do is ignore him. Hey at least it shows Patch is doing a good job. No Internet site is complete until it has a resident troll!
ED November 15, 2011 at 01:53 AM
Oh, come on now Charlie. I have the utmost respect for our veterans of foriegn wars and the sacrifices they made. But, regardless, what happened 60+ years ago doen't really have anything to do with what is happening today. Many WW2 veterans who survived benefited greatly from the government benefits they were afforded.
Richard R. Everson November 17, 2011 at 01:12 AM
With all of the confusion and stress we have been trying to cope with, we are chagrined to have failed to mention the first ones who had offered to help us. Early on, they donated the proceeds of their rummage sale for our benefit. This would be the Heritage Presbyterian Church on Rochester Road in McCandless, if I am not mistaken. We are most indebted to them and their truly Christian members who care enough to help others in need, and we can never thank them enough for their kindness.
Kathy December 11, 2011 at 06:31 PM
Ed, if you are going to write on a public website, your opinions would be better received if you could lean to spell. I've overlooked some of your misspellings, but the word "though" means "in spite of or otherwise." The word I think you mean to write was "thought" which is the past participle of the word "think."
ED December 11, 2011 at 07:12 PM
Thanx fur the advise Kathy. I'll try to emprove. Konstruktivre kritisism is always welkome.

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