Park Rapids Businesses Make Dream of Homeownership a Reality

Josh and Tara Rychnovsky grew up in Park Rapids. After moving six times in six years from one rental property to another, they wanted stability for their children. They reached out to Lakes Area Habitat for Humanity (LAHFH).

Through the leadership of LAHFH and the generous financial support and sweat equity of local businesses and residents, the Rychnovsky’s are now settled into their own home.

An Iraq war veteran, Josh served two tours before being medically discharged in 2013. “This was an opportunity to help an American hero, someone who’s fought for our country,” Melissa Kaufenberg, director of development for LAHFH, said of the Iraq War veteran.

LAHFH Executive Director Kevin Pelkey worked with R.D. Offutt Company representatives to secure a $22,000 matching gift. Local businesses and residents were quick to accept the challenge and in just three short weeks the non-profit raised more than enough funds to start construction on May 4th.

Fundraising began “at zero” in March. RD Offutt Company’s $22,000 matching gift challenge was not only matched but exceeded by more than $2,000, reports Kaufenberg.

“The Offutt matching grant was instrumental in making the Rychnovsky’s new home the fastest build we’ve ever completed,” said Pelkey. The Habitat Home was built in a record 3 ½ weeks. At total of 27 Lamb Weston-RDO Frozen Potato team members rolled up their sleeves to help with the construction.

“We have thoroughly enjoyed working with R.D. Offutt on this project.  If it wouldn’t have been for the rain delays, I am certain this house would have been done in 2½ weeks instead of 3½ weeks. The R.D. Offutt team was so professional, skilled, and just a joy to work with. We are so blessed to have had this partnership with R.D. Offutt Company,” said Kaufenberg.

The Rychnovskys were on site each day to assist, a minimum of 300 hours of “sweat equity” required of the family. They will carry a no-profit, no-interest mortgage. Their estimated monthly payment will be $350, which includes interest and property taxes.