Forget the nursery rhyme about the little old lady who lives in a shoe. Darren Sonley is real and lives in south Edmonton with his six kids in a house that has a roof in a pretty sorry state of repairs. It needed a full replacement.
He didn’t know what to do either, so St. Albert’s Roe Roofing came to the rescue last Friday to scratch that major project off of his list.
Sonley was the winner of a contest Roe Roofing put on with the help of 91.7 The Bounce. The good news was indeed welcome as a video on the radio station’s social media page demonstrated as he received the phone call to announce his win, though he struggled to talk for more reasons than simply the joy at his good fortune.
He was at home, where he has been for several months already, out of work and in recovery from a lengthy surgery for his throat cancer, coupled with months of radiation and chemotherapy. He lost a lot of weight and developed pneumonia, too, but now seems like he’s firmly on the road to recovery, according to a GoFundMe fundraiser.
This is not the first time Roe Roofing has offered this project as a community service. Typically, they have done it in St. Albert proper but 2020 seemed like a year where more people in the wider area could use something to look forward to, owner Jason Roe said. They enlisted the help of The Bounce to get more entries.
“The Bounce actually said, ‘there's a lot of people in bad scenarios that could have used that help.’ It was one of the best free giveaways on air that they've ever given away in the history of the radio station,” he said. “(Radio station owner) Rogers Media has never seen a response that was this big from something.
“That roof was in desperate need of repair. There were shingles missing on that roof. We knew when we saw him, he looked like he was in the worst shape. He seemed like the right person to help, obviously. Nobody deserves to have so many things go wrong at one time.”
The project took place on Friday with a full contingent of Roe workers in blitz mode to get the 100-bundle job done in five hours or less. It was a hot day, but thankfully no rain came down to spoil the humanitarian effort.
Roe said he loves to offer these charitable gifts as a way of giving back to the community that has given so much to him, his family and his company.
The fundraiser for Sonley is still at about 25 per cent of its goal of $25,000 to help him get through these months of unemployment and recovery. The page indicates his EI support has stopped so he is living off of his own savings.