When bad things happen to good people, what does one do? It happened this spring during record rainfall and the muddy mess that it created. Chris Niles, who is one of Wayne Homes’ biggest raving fans, took advantage of a sunny day to trim some trees in his back yard. That’s when the bad thing happened.
Chris and his family had moved into their beautiful new Fairfax just the summer before. They were extremely (and justifiably) proud of the custom changes they’d done to convert our house into their home. They produced a spectacular exterior by adding a tower, reverse gables, specialty Pella windows, frieze boards and Greek returns. The breathtaking outside promised equally wondrous things within, and wow, was it ever!
Chris and Jennifer never overlooked a single detail…from the gorgeous maple cabinetry in their custom gourmet kitchen to its Tuscan faucets, door hardware, and the like. Their residence can grace the pages of any interior design magazine! The Niles regularly opened their home for many of our prospective customers– complete strangers to them–and proudly proved that whatever can be imagined can be accomplished.
Without doubt Chris and Jen have the biggest hearts you’ll ever meet! You should also know that Jennifer is a dedicated special-ed teacher, a true hometown hero; and that the Niles’ charisma has long touched everyone in their community. We were no exception; our Portage teammates became instant friends with the family, especially Scott and Catherine.
With their dream home now come true, disaster struck. The bad thing that happened was a large tree unexpectedly toppled onto Chris while he was working outside, and he lay trapped alone in the mud for hours before Jennifer was able to find him. Now he is in rehab, currently paralyzed from the waist down.
When word of the accident got out, all of the Niles’ friends rallied to their side, and a major fundraiser was immediately held in New Castle. The doctors’ advice ‘Prepare for the worst and hope for the best’ meant extensive alterations to the Niles homestead were required.
Family and friends immediately gave their time and the materials to create a ramp for the Niles. Many of our teammates, trade partners and vendors also rushed to the forefront when they heard what had happened. Safari Micro and Cedar Outdoor donated a flat-panel monitor and an Amish-made rocker for auction. A Mothers’ Day bouquet was raffled off at our home office and the winner then donated it to Jennifer! Every department got involved: gas cards, bottled water, lottery wreaths, root beer floats, and a monster bake sale raised additional funds. And there was more. Vernon Yoder Construction, DiCarlo Electric, Perfect Touch Painting, Krauss Drywall, Superior trim, and Graves Lumber then helped to widen doors, add windows, and do other alterations to adapt the Niles homestead to Chris’ new condition. As you read this, the remodeling is about wrapped up and the Niles’ much harder work has just begun.
When bad things happen to good people, what does one do? In this case, other good people do great things to help offset what happened. If you’d like to join in, please make checks payable to “Chris Niles Benefit Fund”, 90 Lakewood Drive, New Castle, PA 16101 or drop them off at the nearest Wayne Homes model center. Keep the family in your prayers; and thanks!