VIENNA, GA (WALB) - A groundbreaking effort brought two families together Friday to remember and honor a much-loved community member.
Dozens of community members joined Nicholas Hooks, 46, who has cerebral palsy, for a celebration.
Crisp Area Habitat along with local leaders broke ground on the handicap accessible home Hooks' parents, William and Laura Jean Grace, will soon own.
It's the first home the nonprofit will build in Dooly County.
"We know that a lot of our families may not have perfect credit or a lot of money to put into a house or buy a house the conventional way," said Bambie Hayes, Executive Director of Crisp Area Habitat.
The home will have extra special meaning, as it is in memory of the late Sheriff Van Peavy.
"I know my father is looking down smiling at this event as we speak," said current Sheriff Craig Peavy, the late sheriff's son.
"You could say it was a decision from God to choose Sheriff Van Peavy," said Hayes of the board's decision.
"I feel that the Peavy family and the Grace family from this point on will always have a special connection," said the current sheriff.
Volunteers will help build the handicap accessible home for Nicholas and his family over the next 90 to 120 days.
"This day, I am so happy," said Laura Jean Grace. "I am so happy. My son, Nick, he's very happy and that makes us happy."
Sheriff Craig Peavy named Nicholas an "honorary deputy" at Friday's ceremony.
He will get a badge that the sheriff will hand deliver to him.
Organizers are still collecting donations toward their $50,000 goal for the home.
To donate, you can mail a check made out to "Crisp Area Habitat" to the below address:
PO Box 1191, Cordele, GA 31010
You can also drop off donations at 205 East 15th Avenue, Cordele, GA 31015.
Another option is to use PayPal, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The organization also needs volunteers to help build, and people to donate lunch to the volunteers. If you'd like to help, call (229) 271-8000.