WARNER ROBINS -- Sunday wasnt a bad day for the Belcher family of Perry. They went to church. Put some ribs on the smoker. Won a $400,000 house.
And while Dianne and Jimmy Belcher werent yet sure what theyd do with the five-bedroom home in Warner Robins, daughter Sarah, 31, had no doubts. Do it, she urged. Do it. This is a keeper, mom.
The family had looks of astonishment at times as they toured the home in The Tiffany subdivision that Dianne won with a single $100 raffle ticket. The raffle was part of the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway, which in all raised $655,485 for St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital.
Jimmy and Diane Belcher werent quite certain what to think about the house, which is rather different from their home of more than two decades in Perry.
Let the man upstairs decide what to do, suggested Jimmy Belcher, who works a maintenance job in Andersonville. But minutes later he was pondering a spigot above the stove, which would simplify cooking. When Dianne, who retired as a nurse two weeks ago, asked if he liked it and wanted one, she noted with a smile he already had one.
The Belcher family marveled as they toured the home.
Its awesome, Dianne Belcher said after shed seen everything. Its beautiful. Its prettier than I really ever thought it would be.
It was the third home built for St. Jude by Jeff Liszewski of Custom Homes by Jeff LLC.
This is the best one yet, he said. He pointed out features from a huge farmers sink to all-granite countertops throughout the house. But Liszewski said the home wouldnt have been possible without an array of subcontractors, many of whom had worked with him on earlier homes for the hospital, which helps children with cancer and other disastrous illnesses.
Its just a passion, said Chuck Grimes of Grimes Diversified Services, which did the stucco and stonework. Im a cancer survivor. I have grandchildren, five. Anything can happen at any time.
Pat Pridgen of Southern Floors and Tile said it was his companys second year of working with St. Judes. The company put in all the flooring, blacksplashes, tubs and surrounds. Doing it for St. Judes is a blessing, he said.
At times, Sundays raffle reached the surreal. WMAZ aired a special show, which at one point had an interview set inside a huge shower, with four giant shower heads. In the same bathroom earlier, Pridgens daughter, 11-year-old Kinley Ann, pulled a raffle ticket for $5,000 worth of furniture for the winner from a bathtub she was sitting in. Liszewski named the houses street after her, and she admired his work.
I think he tries to do better every year. I think its cool that he can make it feel like a home, she said.
Liszewski already has plans to help St. Jude next year, with a home set on about three-quarters of an acre off Hole 6 of the Houston Lake Country Club.
To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.