Pen Air Invests $50,000 In ‘Extreme Makeover’ For Needy Family

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PENSACOLA, Fla. – Pen Air FCU will provide up to $50,000 in home maintenance and tax expenses over the next few years for a needy local family who won a new home as part of this year’s Extreme Makeover contest.

Celebrity singer Mariah Carey presented Finis Gaston, 29-year-old guardian for three kids, the 3,600-square-foot home on Sunday during the ABC reality program “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”

At that event, Pen Air announced it will be investing up to $50,000 over the next few years to the Gaston Family Housing Trust to help them with house maintenance costs such as taxes and insurance, while Gaston completes his degree in social work at the University of West Florida, which donated scholarships to the entire family. “Pen Air has always invested in the community by providing affordable loans and services to the community,” said Ron Fields, CEO of Pen Air FCU. “The community is looking for the direction of strength and Pen Air is proud to be the beacon of light for the Gaston Family.”

But the home makeover and the $50,000 credit union gift were only part of the package that also includes $75,000 scholarship from the University of West Florida, a 2004 Ford Explorer; free services from Cox Communications and season tickets to Pensacola Pelicans baseball games.

Gaston, a luncheon attendant at the local elementary school, previously attended Alabama A&M University and left after his mother died to care for his sister's three children. Gaston will live in the home with his two young nephews, his niece and her infant son.

An estimated 2,000 people volunteered to build the house from scratch. Heritage Homes was the homebuilder.

The Extreme Makeover episode will air on ABC in December.


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