A Ramp for the Armstrongs
After 59 Years, a Tale of Gratitude Comes Full Circle
HBA Cares builds a ramp for a couple with and uncovers a special connection
When Chuck Armstrong received a letter of recognition from the Housing & Building Association of Colorado Springs in 1957 (known then as the Colorado Springs Home Builders Association) for a heroic act he performed at a local pool, he didn’t imagine that 59 years later he would in turn be thanking the HBA for extending a helping hand to him.
On June 18, 1957, a 13-year old Armstrong saved a child from drowning at the Antlers Hotel in downtown Colorado Springs. His actions of bravery and quick thinking were recognized by the Home Builders Association in a hand-typed letter. Now, Armstrong is thanking the HBA for what he may also consider an act of heroism. Through HBA Cares, the HBA’s philanthropic arm, a much-needed ADA-accessible ramp was built for Armstrong and his wife, Helen, at their home in Manitou Springs. A substitute teacher in the Colorado Springs area for three decades and counting, Helen isn’t ready to let her mobility issues stop her from living her life. The new ramp will help her continue to be active outside of the home, as well as enjoy the Armstrong family home of over a half-century even longer.
“We sorely need this access as we age in the fourth quarter of our lives and ailments are springing up,” commented Armstrong. The ramp was built entirely with volunteer labor, donated materials, and other costs that were covered by HBA members and HBA Cares. Armstrong gave special thanks to Larry Gilland (owner) and Dawn Streb (project architect) at LGA Studios, and Lain Chappell’s crew at Solid Rock Custom Homes, for designing and building the ramp in a manner that preserves the look and feel of his unique home, which was designed in 1957 by Frank Lloyd Wright's granddaughter, Elizabeth Wright Ingraham.
“HBA Cares is honored to be a part of this project in helping to make a positive impact to the Armstrongs’ quality of life,” said Mike DeGrant, President. “It’s always gratifying to be involved in projects that help out people in our community, but this story has an extra special ending to it,” he added.
See more pictures from this event. Go to the HBA Cares slideshow.
Though its name has changed over the years, the Housing & Building Association of Colorado Springs’ commitment to building community through its membership and philanthropy remains the same. From praising local heroes to helping neighbors stay in their homes through their golden years, the HBA is proud to be part of the stories that come full circle in such a positive way.
DeGrant echoed that sentiment. “HBA Cares is fortunate to be associated with the numerous members of the HBA who never fail to step up with their time and talents to give back to our community on projects that make a difference in people's lives,” he remarked.
The letter that Chuck Armstrong received
from the Home Builders Association in 1957.
Coordinator: Lain Chappell, Solid Rock Custom Homes
Architect: Dawn Leone, LGA Studios
American Institute of Building Design
City of Manitou Springs
Colorado Springs Utilities
Kanzler Foundations Inc.
Pikes Peak Regional Building Department
Solid Rock Custom Homes
Transit Mix Concrete
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About HBA Cares
HBA Cares, Inc. is a non-profit organization that connects needs within the community to the skills and abilities of the local housing and building industry. Through projects such as the John Zay Guest House, Mountain Shadows Park & Pavilion, and the Griffith Center for Children, the organization provides support to individuals and families in the Pikes Peak Region. Learn more at hbacares.org.