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NWFA completes 25th home with Gary Sinise Foundation

St. Louis—The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) has provided flooring for its 25th home in partnership with the Gary Sinise Foundation R.I.S.E. program (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment). The R.I.S.E. program builds custom, specially adapted smart homes for severely wounded veterans and first responders. The home dedication for US Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Petty Officer 1st Class Andrew Bottrell took place in San Diego, Dec. 12. Flooring for the project was donated by NWFA member Mullican Flooring.

EOD1 Bottrell attended Explosive Ordnance Disposal school in 2008 and reported to EOD mobile unit 3 a year later. In 2011, he was deployed to Afghanistan with Seal Team 10. His injuries occurred on Oct. 1, 2011 when his vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device (IED), resulting in the loss of both legs, and his left arm.

“EOD1 Bottrell has an amazingly positive attitude,” said Michael Martin, NWFA president and CEO. “He embraces the belief that we all have control of our lives and that if you don’t like your situation, it’s up to you, and you only, to change it. He’s an inspiring individual who leaves an impression on everyone he meets. We’re honored to partner with Mullican to provide flooring for his new home.”

In addition to the 25 homes already completed, NWFA currently is working with its members to source wood flooring for 19 additional R.I.S.E. homes in various stages of planning and construction. Currently, 52 NWFA member companies have donated product, logistics and installation services in locations throughout the United States, with a total value of more than $3.52 million. A list of all NWFA R.I.S.E. partners is listed at nwfa.org/giving-back.aspx.

By the end of this year, 59 specially adapted smart homes will be completed or underway through the Gary Sinise Foundation R.I.S.E. program. To learn more about the program, contact the NWFA at 800.422.4556, or e-mail anita.howard@nwfa.org.

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Crossville marks 10th tile installation in specially adapted smart home

Crossville, Tenn.—Crossville recently celebrated its 10th specially-adapted smart home dedication for the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E program. Throughout the past year, Crossville has donated more than 10,000 square feet of tile for installations in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms and other spaces inside homes custom-built for wounded veterans and their families.

“It’s exciting to know we have contributed to help 10 deserving heroes and their families enjoy the comforts of brand new, specially adapted smart homes,” said Lindsey Waldrep, Crossville’s vice president of marketing. “Our tile is a part of the everyday surroundings that are making life better for those who’ve sacrificed so much.”

The dedication of U.S. Navy EOD1 Andrew Bottrell’s home in San Diego, Calif., marks Crossville’s 10th R.I.S.E. home completed this year. Crossville tile was installed in the master bath, guest and upstairs bathrooms, and in the laundry room—covering the floors and walls.

The master bath and shower floor and walls feature Crossville’s Gotham collection. With subtle striations, aggregate finishes, and lived-in colorations of concrete, this collection provides an urban aura for the space. In addition, Crossville’s Ebb & Flow collection accentuates the master bath walls with a touch of stone and glass.

The upstairs bath features Crossville’s Buenos Aires Mood collection. This line offers an elegant color, touchable texture, and sensuous movement to offer the right look and feel for a relaxing space.

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NWFA completes 18th home with Gary Sinise Foundation

GSF - MitcheltreeSt. Louis, Mo.—The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) has provided flooring for its 18th home in partnership with the Gary Sinise Foundation R.I.S.E. program (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment). The R.I.S.E. program builds custom, specially adapted smart homes for severely wounded veterans and first responders. The home dedication for US Army Sergeant First Class Wade Mitcheltree took place on Aug. 11, in Tigard, Ore. Flooring for the project was donated by NWFA member Mullican Flooring.

SFC Mitcheltree was injured in 2012 by an improvised explosive device (IED) while serving in Afghanistan. The blast resulted in the loss of his right leg above the knee and his right arm below the elbow. He also suffered muscle and nerve damage in his lower left leg, a snapped pelvis and ruptures to both ear drums. In 2016, due to the severity of his injuries, his left leg was amputated below the knee.

“Sergeant First Class Mitcheltree’s motivation to serve is inspiring,” said Michael Martin, NWFA president and CEO. “He enlisted in the Army during high school and left for basic training just two weeks following graduation. After spending some time at Ft. Bragg and Ft. Richardson, he was deployed overseas, serving one tour in Iraq and two in Afghanistan. While there, his platoon worked with local police to ensure the security of their surrounding areas. His work has helped to ensure the safety of thousands of civilians and military personnel alike, and we’re honored to partner with Mullican Flooring to recognize his sacrifice by participating in the construction of his new home.”

In addition to the 18 homes already completed, NWFA currently is working with its members to source wood flooring for 26 additional R.I.S.E. homes in various stages of planning and construction. Currently, 51 NWFA member companies have donated product, logistics and installation services in locations throughout the U.S., with a total value of more than $3.52 million. A list of all NWFA R.I.S.E. partners is listed at nwfa.org/giving-back.aspx.

By the end of this year, 59 specially adapted smart homes will be completed or underway through the R.I.S.E. program. To learn more contact the NWFA at 800.422.4556, or e-mail anita.howard@nwfa.org.

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NTCA participates in RISE home dedication

ntcaFlowood, Miss.—The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) attended the RISE home dedication of Jared and Jessica Bullock and their son Aidan, in Carbondale, Ill., June 29. NTCA partnered with Crossville and MAPEI to provide the porcelain tile and setting materials for this home which was installed by California Flooring.

The concept, developed by the Gary Sinise Foundation, was to build a custom, specially adapted smart home, assisting Jared in “Restoring Independence and Supporting Empowerment” (RISE), as he transitions back into civilian life.

“It was my honor to donate my time and money to help Jared transition to an active lifestyle with his family,” said Kevin Insalato, Ceramic Tile Education Foundation regional evaluator coordinator and U.S. Army veteran. “The most impressive feature of Jared’s recovery is his ability to view his injury as just another obstacle he will overcome.”

U.S. Army SFC Jared Bullock served two tours in Iraq and trained for Special Forces and received his Green Beret on Oct. 13, 2013. Jared was deployed to Afghanistan and one month later his ATV ran over an improvised explosive device (IED). The blast took the life of his best friend and though he survived, Jared lost his right arm above the elbow and his right leg above the knee.

“The opportunity to work on Jared’s home was an easy decision for me,” Insalato said. “I’m an active board member of NTCA. I worked very closely with both Crossville and MAPEI and they requested I represent them at the home dedication. My company, California Flooring, is located only five miles north of the home in Chicago. My employees are all Certified Tile Installers and they all took turns installing the different areas we tiled. This was a labor of love we will all remember for a very long time.”

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Crossville collections installed in smart home for wounded veteran

lucas-cifka-1Crossville, Tenn.—As the tile supplier for the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program in 2017, Crossville recently contributed the tile for a specially adapted smart home for U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Lucas David Cifka (Ret.) and his family. The house was dedicated in a ceremony on June 15, in Canyon Lake, Texas.

More than 1,000 square feet of Crossville tile was installed in the master bath, the guest bath, the mudroom and kitchen covering the floors and walls. Brandi Hines, interior designer, worked with the Cifka family to specify tile with the desired look and performance needed throughout the home.

The master bath features Crossville’s Buenos Aires Mood collection and Yin + Yang collection. Crossville’s Ready-to-Wear in the color Smarty Pants was specified for the guest bathroom; while the Color By Numbers collection in the Nine Lives hues was used to accent the guest bath, as well as the family’s mud room. For the walls in the kitchen, Crossville’s Savoy collection in white was installed.

“It’s exciting to know a deserving wounded warrior and his family are enjoying the comforts of a brand new, specially adapted smart home—and that our tile is a part of their everyday surroundings,” said Lindsey Waldrep, Crossville’s vice president of marketing. “The tile options specified for Staff Sgt. Cifka’s home are not only beautiful but also practical for a busy family.”

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Mannington works with Gary Sinise Foundation to aid veterans

1 JPEG Cedric King family in front of their new home mannington.comSalem, N.J.—Mannington Mills recently partnered with the National Wood Flooring Association to support the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program, which builds specially adapted smart homes for severely wounded veterans.

Mannington donated Andean Pecan hardwood flooring for the Duluth, Ga., home of U.S. Army Master Sergeant Cedric King (Ret.) and his family. King was severely wounded by an IED while deployed in Afghanistan during 2012. He lost both of his legs and sustained disfigurement to his right hand. Now King uses prosthetics and a wheelchair, and a specially adapted smart home was built to give him back some of the independence he lost on the battlefield.

“A lot goes into the building of these specially adapted smart homes and we are tremendously grateful to our generous in-kind donors who lend their support to the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program,” said Judith Otter, executive director of the Gary Sinise Foundation.

Many of Mannington’s associates and family members have served in the military. “This includes my father, Johnny Campbell, a World War II Marine veteran, and my mother who was with the WAVES,” said Keith Campbell, Mannington Mills chairman of the board. “We know first-hand the sacrifices that veterans and their families make. When the NWFA approached us with the opportunity to provide flooring for Master Sergeant King’s home, we were honored to have been asked.”

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NWFA’s Anita Howard receives Above & Beyond award

578A7044St. Louis, Mo.—The National Wood Flooring Association’s (NWFA) chief operating officer, Anita Howard, was chosen as the recipient of the Gary Sinise Foundation’s 2017 Above & Beyond award.

“Every year the Gary Sinise Foundation recognizes the individuals who go above and beyond their duty to get the job done,” said Judith Otter, executive director of the Gary Sinise Foundation. “Anita Howard has done just that. We are grateful for Anita’s dedication, passion and belief in our mission. Anita helps to ensure our severely wounded heroes receive the best quality floors in each specially adapted smart home build through our R.I.S.E. program. It is a crucial component in every house. We are appreciative of everyone at NWFA and we couldn’t think of anyone more deserving than Anita to receive our 2017 Above & Beyond award.”

Anita has been the chief operating officer of the NWFA for four years, and has worked for the organization for nearly 16 years.

Since first getting involved with the Gary Sinise Foundation at the 2015 Wood Flooring Expo, NWFA has aided in the completion of 13 homes, with another 20 homes in various stages of planning or construction. To learn more about the Gary Sinise Foundation or to donate your time or materials, visit NWFA’s website at www.nwfa.org/giving-back.aspx.

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NWFA, Gary Sinise Foundation dedicate smart home for veteran

Chris Sanna Home-3388

St. Louis–The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) and several of its members participated in the Gary Sinise Foundation’s latest smart home building project completed earlier this month. Michael Martin, NWFA CEO, attended the home dedication ceremony for Army veteran Chris Sanna in House Springs, Mo.

Sanna was attending a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game this past summer with his family to celebrate his mother’s birthday. He and his girlfriend left the game early when two men approached them outside the stadium demanding their property. They complied with the robbers, and when Sanna and his girlfriend turned to run, the men shot them twice. Sanna was hit in his liver, lungs, and spine. He is paralyzed from the waist down.

Just after the holiday break, a group of contractors in St. Louis joined forces to install the flooring in Sanna’s home. The contractors, all of whom work for competing companies, volunteered their time to install about 1,400 square feet of wood flooring on the main level of Sanna’s ranch-style home, and about 700 square feet of tile in the basement. The local installation companies, all of whom were recruited by NWFA St. Louis member Lockwood Flooring, included All Wood Floor Company, JD’s Flooring, Jerry’s Fine Floors, Just Around the Corner, and JW Hardwood Floors. The 2¼-inch prefinished solid ash flooring that was installed was donated by Sheoga Hardwood Flooring and delivered by Ambassador Floors. The Sanna project represents the third home for which Sheoga has donated product.

Also participating in the project was an NWFA partner, the National Tile Contractor’s Association. NTCA coordinated tile donations for the home; tile was donated by NTCA member Florida Tile. NWFA member Mapei Corp. donated the setting material for the tile projects, as well as the grout.

The project was coordinated through the NWFA’s partnership with the Gary Sinise Foundation. GSF has several programs that provide wounded veterans and their families with the resources necessary to overcome their new life challenges. In addition to the flooring coordinated through NWFA and NTCA, Sanna’s home was completely renovated to meet his specific mobility issues.

“It’s a privilege to be a part of the Gary Sinise Foundation programs,” Martin said. “It’s important to recognize our veterans and their families for the many sacrifices they make on our behalf, and to give back in ways that can improve their lives.”

Other NWFA member companies that have committed to participate in the program include American OEM, Galleher, Mannington, Maxwell Hardwood Flooring, Mullican Flooring, Rust-Oleum, Somerset Flooring, and WD Flooring.

Martin encourages other NWFA members to get involved in its efforts to provide wood flooring in all GSF veteran homes. “So far, the NWFA has completed or committed to complete 16 homes,” he said. “As more veterans are identified, more member participation will be needed, including donations of product, product delivery, and product installation.”

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Mapei supports Gary Sinise Foundation

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 1.09.32 PMDeerfield Beach, Fla.—Mapei has provided Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program with flooring installation products for a wounded veteran’s smart home. The company supplied mortars, grouts and adhesives for installing tile, stone, wood, carpet and vinyl flooring in the home of U.S. Marines Staff Sergeant Jason Ross in Fallbrook, Calif.

“It is a privilege for us to work with the Gary Sinise Foundation to help soldiers like Jason return to a secure and rewarding life after their service in protection of our country,” said Jeff Johnson, business manager for Mapei’s floor covering installation systems.

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NWFA, Gary Sinise Foundation dedicate smart home to veteran

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 3.32.04 PMSt. Louis, Mo.—The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) and several of its members participated in the Gary Sinise Foundation RISE program’s latest smart home project, completed last month. The dedication ceremony for Marine Staff Sgt. Jason Ross took place in Livermore, Calif.

Ross lost both legs and part of a pelvic bone after stepping on an improvised explosive device while serving his second tour in Afghanistan in 2011. He endured more than 200 surgeries conducted during three years largely lived in hospitals.

“To see how these smart homes make a difference, to see how they empower a family to enjoy a full life together unhindered by limitations to the mobility and self-sufficiency of a veteran like Jason, is truly amazing,” said Jeff Fairbanks, NWFA chairman.