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NORTH TONAWANDA – For a third year, the city will pick a home in need of an “extensive sprucing up” in Project HOPE – Helping Others Paint Exteriors.

The city is collecting applications through July 20, and the chosen house will be pressure-washed, primed and painted Aug. 17, with a rain date of Aug. 24.

“It has always been my passion to help people and to make a difference in my community,” said Jesse Gooch, owner of Painters Plus. He said the goal of Project HOPE is to prevent the onset of blight in North Tonawanda.

“During these tough economic times, it has been a struggle for people to maintain or improve their homes,” he said.

“I have seen many homes in the area that have loose and peeling paint, dingy colors and rotted siding.”

Last year’s Project HOPE was called a huge success, helping out a property owner who lives on Robinson Street, and the year before a home on Wheatfield Street.

Gooch said he believes people want to improve their homes but don’t have the physical or financial means.

“I believe in many cases it’s not neglect. And that’s what drove me to start and continue with the Painters Plus Project,” Gooch said.

He plans to select a person or family that is either disabled, elderly, suffering financial hardships, or a disabled veteran.

Gooch will team up with Mayor Robert G. Ortt and other city officials to assist with the project. In addition, members of the Chamber of Commerce of the Tonawandas and local businesses will be supporting the event. The paint for Project HOPE will be provided by Sherwin Williams on Meadow Drive in North Tonawanda.

Applications may be submitted online at www.paintersplus.us, or mail a letter to Painters Plus at 800 Walck Road, North Tonawanda, NY 14120, or pick up an application at the Chamber of Commerce on Webster Street.

Applicants should introduce themselves in a short paragraph and explain their particular hardship situation and provide a picture of their home. They also are asked to provide name, address and a telephone number where they can be reached. Photos will not be returned.

“This is a great project, and it brings the community together and helps people in the process,” Ortt said. “I applaud Jesse and Painters Plus for giving back to North Tonawanda. We are happy to have a business like this in our city.”

email: nfischer@buffnews.com