Blueprints for tending the dream Children's House to benefit from sale of a special Pulte home

July 07, 1996|By Laura Barnhardt | Laura Barnhardt,Contributing Writer

Sometimes it takes more than vision, dedication and faith to keep a dream alive.

These three forces created and sustain the Children's House at Johns Hopkins, a Grant-A-Wish facility that serves as a "home-away-from-home" for children with life-threatening illnesses receiving treatment at nearby Hopkins' Children Center and their families. But the House still has bills to pay.

To help pay the expenses of running a home to as many as 17 families at one time, the Baltimore division of Pulte Home Corp. decided to build another house.

This one, called the "Endowment House" in the upscale community of Governor's Run in Ellicott City, will be built largely by donations from Pulte and its contractors and then sold.

Profits from the sale will be invested to provide for the long-term financial security of the Children's House, so that years from now it will be prepared for repairs, expansions and other projects. Meanwhile, the interest payments from the investment will be used to help cover day-to-day expenses of running the four-level facility, which has provided more than 34,000 individual overnight accommodations since opening in 1993.

"The Endowment House will ensure that families traveling to Baltimore to face possibly the worst situation they ever face will be able to stay in a warm, comfortable environment," said Brian Morrison, founder and executive director of the Grant-A-Wish foundation.

Construction begins this week on the 3,200-square foot, four-bedroom Endowment House that will overlook wooded parkland in Ellicott City. The house is expected to be ready for sale by early October.

Already, Pulte -- the largest homebuilder in the United States last year -- has collected 75 percent of the supplies and labor needed to complete the home.

"It's through the combined efforts and generosity of our partners, contractors and suppliers that this will be possible," said Jeb Bittner, executive vice president for the Baltimore division of Pulte Home.

So, plumbing contractors will work alongside other plumbing companies; framers will work next to other framers; and construction crews will hammer beside their competitors in the same house.

"Everyone's working as a team to get this house built," said Gary Dain, a Pulte construction manager.

From the beginning, this kind of cooperation and spirit has made both the Children's House and the Endowment House possible.

Baltimore real estate developer and philanthropist Stewart Greenebaum, president of Greenebaum and Rose Associates, made the initial large donations to get both projects started.

And each time, the Baltimore division of Pulte and more than 40 contractors have stepped in to complete them.

As occurred at the Children's House, hundreds of volunteers will have contributed to Endowment House from the time Mike Schrader, former president of the Baltimore division of Pulte and a Children's House board member, came up with the plan until Elaine Northrop of Coldwell Banker Grempler Realty, who is waiving her commission, sells the house.

"When it comes down to it -- we're not just trying to sell a house, we're trying to support a cause," said Paul Kotsher, vice president of Pulte sales and marketing.

Others who wish to make donations may contact the Children's House at Johns Hopkins, 1915 McElderry St., Baltimore, Md. 21205, (410) 614-2560.

Pub Date: 7/07/96

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