Volunteers Fix Porch for Retired Resident

Homeowner Toni Carcione holds her dog Ginger while local Gulfport volunteers take a break from repairing her front porch on the morning of Saturday, February 9 to make it safe for her use again. Pictured from left are Rick Foulk, Carcione, Wolfgang Deiniger, Councilmember Paul Ray and Patrick McAleese.

I’m appreciative because I couldn’t afford to do the porch repair,” said Toni Carcione, a retiree and Gulfport homeowner since 2001 on Saturday, February 9.

The project started with a Facebook post that detailed her need for help after she recently fell down her dilapidated front stairs twice. The porch has been in need of repairs for a couple of years, she said.

That’s when Margaret Tober, president of the Gulfport Neighbors non-profit group and others including Gulfport Councilmember Paul Ray, teamed up to create an action plan.

Tober contacted Tibbetts Lumber in St. Petersburg, and they agreed to donate most of the supplies, she said. Then, Gulfport Neighbors helped with funding the needed repair permit from the city.

Ray served as the point person for the two months of official planning and paperwork.

Local residents Wolfgang Deininger, Rick Foulk and Patrick McAleese pitched in with their knowledge of construction and skill with tools.

“It’s looking marvelous,” said Carcione during the repair process. “It will probably save my life from flying down the stairs.” 

Rick Foulk uses a circular saw to trim deck boards as part of a group volunteer effort to repair the front porch of a retired Gulfport resident who couldn’t afford to have the work done on her own.

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