Construction begins for Tully family's home makeover

Community members are coming together in Tully to build a new home for a local family.

Dave and Diana Johnson live in a three bedroom, two bathroom ranch house in Tully with their eight children. The couple has raised three biological children. They've adopted 14 children, and they've fostered another 12.

"They've always given everything for these kids and sacrificed everything for these kids," says Bob Whitehead, a captain with the Syracuse Fire Department.

Now, the Johnsons, who have spent so much time helping others, need help themselves. Costly repairs are needed in the home, and Dave Johnson, a retired member of the Syracuse Fire Department, has a health problem that limits his mobility.

Community members have been working hard to raise money, so the Johnsons can have their new home. Construction is finally getting started.

On Monday, the Johnsons pulled up in a bus from Caz limo, as members of the Syracuse Fire Department and other volunteers cheered.

"If you know Dave, know Diana, know the family, there's no choice but to get this done," says Scott McClurg, project coordinator, and president of McClurg Remodeling and Construction.

"Dave is just a great guy," says Lt. Gary Andrews Sr., a member of the Syracuse Fire Department. "I worked with him when he was a captain, and he was just very knowledgeable, taught us a lot. In his time of need, we're here to help him."

Volunteers are going to completely remodel the inside and outside of the house. They also plan to make it handicapped accessible. Project coordinators say hundreds of people have volunteered to help, and more than 100 local companies have donated time and resources.

For the Johnsons, all the support is overwhelming.

"We feel just so thankful and excited," says Diana Johnson. "We just can't believe it."

Construction will continue around the clock for three weeks. The home is scheduled to be finished by May 7th. Until then, the family is staying at a campground in Tully.

Learn more about the Johnson Family Home Project here.

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