Surprised and thankful fit the description of free roof winner in Pratt on Wednesday.
The Labor Day flood of 2018 brought 8.6 inches of rain to the Pratt area, causing massive flooding on the Ninnescah River and damaging homes. At Yadira Garcia-Pedroza’s house on 1111 Stout Street, the mass of water actually caused the roof to develop a split, allowing water to get inside and damaged sheet rock in eight walls of the house. Light sockets were effected. They used sheet metal and tarps to cover the roof.
The damage was extensive and fixing the roof would be expensive, very expensive. Neighbors and friends helped with repairs to the walls but the roof was another matter.
Things didn’t look good until help arrived from an unexpected source and a miracle occurred. On September 18, Pedroza found out that AR Roofing of Pratt was going to give her a new roof, absolutely free of charge.
Every year AR Roofing gives away a free roof. Usually, AR decides who gets the free roof when people come to them with bad roof problem. But this year, they decided to open it up to the public and let them nominate homes that needed a new roof, said Julie Lang, AR director of human resources.
The giveaway was titled “The Halo Project” and the entire company got behind it. When word got out, AR got feedback. Nominations began flowing in from across the AR service area and some 300 nominations were received. A panel of community judges researched the nominations and narrowed down list to a top 10. Then, AR visited every home in person and did an inspection to determine which three would selected to get a new roof. Pedroza’s house was one of those three, Lang said.
Pedroza’s friends had gotten busy and 45 different people nominated her. They had only had “awesome” things to say about Pedroza, Lang said.
Pedroza (her friends call her Gia), and all the other nominees knew they had been nominated but they didn’t know who had won. Each of the candidates was surprised with the announcement. Pedroza’s friend Anel Cox, was in charge of getting Pedroza to the Club D’Est Wednesday morning for her presentation. Representatives from AR along with some coworkers and Pedroza’s mother were on hand when she stepped into the Club meeting room and saw the sign announcing that she had won the new roof. Overcome with emotion, she cried and hugged those that had made this miracle a reality.
“It’s very humbling,” Pedroza said. “There’s lots more people worse off than me. It’s the first time I had nothing to say.”
She was surprised that many people cared for her. This is a great community, Pedroza said.
Pedroza, who has seven children, said if this hadn’t happened, she would most likely have lost the house.
Two other winners from the AR service area, one from Russel and one from other town, were also surprised with the news their house would receive a new roof.
“It’s a privilege for us to do this,” Lang said. “This is a top of the line roof. We are working with State Farm to get it insured.”
AR Roofing has offices in Wichita and Pratt. They have a wide service area across Kansas.