0306-Johnny Nolen.jpg

Submitted / The Outlook Johnny Nolen has been helping Benjamin Russell sports and youth sports in Alexander City for several decades and now the community is trying to give back to him by building him and his mother a dream home.

It’s been a true community effort to bring the Johnny’s Dream Home project to where it is now.

As the frame of Johnny Nolen’s new home is completed and the wiring is put in, fundraising efforts and volunteer contributions are helping to provide the long-time Alex City youth and high school sports supporter a place for he and his mother to reside.

“If you’re 50 years old or younger and you’ve been through Benjamin Russell, you know who Johnny Nolen is,” Alex City Parks and Rec Director Sonny Wilson said. “He’s at every ball game for everything. He always volunteers his time and is giving back to the community. He’s about as good a guy as you’ll ever meet.”

Everyone’s been pitching in to get the project to this stage, from regular citizens to local businesses.

Contractors have knocked serious amounts off building costs, with many supplies donated free of charge and countless free hours of labor reducing the amount needed to complete Nolen’s home.

“It’s just a lot of people stepping up,” Wilson said.

Alex City Parks and Rec has led fundraising efforts, giving local residents a number of ways to contribute.

Lakewinds Golf Club in nearby Jacksons Gap is hosting a 4-man Scramble charity golf tournament for the cause. More than 20 teams have already entered, Wilson said, with the event taking place Oct. 15 with registration opening at 11:30 a.m. and tee time at 12:30 p.m.

Teams can register or get more info by contacting Bo Parks at (256) 329-3954. Cost is $400 for a four-man team and local businesses can sponsor a hole for $100.

Anyone can also contribute to the project via River Bank and Trust in Alex City. Donations can be made by visiting the bank and asking to give to the account titled “Johnny’s Dream Home.”

“We’ve got a lot of people in the community who just go there and deposit money,” Wilson said.

Wilson indicated that the project has made tremendous headway to this point. The house, located by Charles E. Bailey Sportsplex, has had its frame built, windows put in, shingles put on and heating and cooling installed. Later this week Wilson expects the electricity to be completed.

“The house (Nolen and his mother) were living in had some problems with it,” Wilson said. “Being over Parks and Rec and knowing Johnny, he was always over here and just the best friend. So I called a guy and said, ‘Hey, we need to do something, what if we tried to build Johnny a house where he’ll have his own place. His mom’s getting older, if something happened to her we’d have them right here by the Sportsplex.’”

Recommended for you