Fairhope Home Sweet Home project making headway

Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 7:22 PM CDT
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FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WALA) - The Home Sweet Home charitable project in Fairhope is really starting to take shape. Restauranteur, Pete Blohme’s PR Foundation partnered with the Baldwin County Homebuilders Association to build a home for a disadvantaged Fairhope couple.

Groundbreaking was the last week in May and it’s amazing how far construction has come in the four months since, especially considering setbacks from weather and much of the work coming from volunteers using donated products.

PR Foundation's Home Sweet Home Fairhope build is making great headway since the May...
PR Foundation's Home Sweet Home Fairhope build is making great headway since the May groundbreaking(Hal Scheurich)

Johnny Stewart and wife, Crystal will soon move into the new home built on the same lot Stewart’s childhood home stood. The Stewarts stopped by Wednesday, September 21, 2022 to check on the progress.

“It’s exciting. It’s overwhelming,” Crystal said.

“The same. She took the words out of my mouth,” Johnny laughed in agreement.

Pete Blohme, known to locals as “Panini Pete” gave Johnny a job 16 years ago after he saw he needed a leg up in life. All these years later, Bloume said Stewart was the catalyst for forming PR Foundation, an outlet for Pete and his business partner to do charitable work.

Until this project, PR Foundation’s charitable endeavors were on a much smaller scale. While he’d like to see even more progress by now, Blohme said he’s beginning to understand the challenges associated with bigger jobs.

“So many of these things are coordinated, between the plumbing, the electric and the install…the interior. So many moving parts,” Blohme explained. “So many companies and a lot of them, out of the goodness of their heart that are contributing to this also have to do jobs that they’re getting paid on, so we maybe become less of a priority at times.”

Blohme and the Stewarts took a walk through the home to see how things are moving along. There’s still a long way to go but all are keeping a positive outlook and can visualize the possibilities. It’s taken support of nearly 200 sponsors to make this dream a reality and with a little luck and continued momentum, the Stewarts are hopeful move-in could be as soon as the end of the year.

“I don’t know. Me and Crystal was thinking before Christmas,” Johnny said.

“It feels so good to be able to do that but more importantly, you see…to see that board and all those names and all these people that have come together,” Blohme said, pointing at the list of sponsors on a sign. “Wow! It’s inspiring.”

The total cost of the build is around $250,000. Everyone’s keeping their fingers crossed for continued good weather so the hope of moving in by Christmas can be a reality.

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