Honor Cottage scheduled to open soon

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Reported by: Michelle Linn
Updated: 7/04/2013 10:04 am Published: 7/03/2013 4:57 pm

Honor Cottage opening delayed again

Last September plans were unveiled for the Honor Cottage, an escape for wounded veterans and their families.

The plan was to have the cottage open by Memorial Day. FOX23 has now learned it won't even be open in time for the Fourth of July.

The cottage looks ready to go from the outside, and the Folds of Honor foundation hoped the Strickland family, from Collinsville, would be able to spend the Fourth of July inside these doors, but they've run into a few delays

"As things go with construction, we weren't quite finished on the interior," explained Ron Howell, who runs CrossTimbers Marina on Skiatook Lake.

"It occurred to me that, in our first phase of our cottage project at CrossTimbers, that we had one lot left, and I thought I'd love to somehow make that available so veterans could use it," said Howell.

He met with Folds of Honor for the first time on Labor Day. They broke ground on the Honor Cottage in November.

Originally they hoped to open the cottage to one of the families over Memorial Day weekend.

They held a ribbon cutting on May 26.

"This is such a small thank you for our freedom, freedom is everything," said Howell.

"This was just one of those things that had not been done yet," said Thomas Tansil with Folds of Honor.

CrossTimbers donated the land. The architect drew up the plans for free, builders stepped up to donate everything from the heating and air conditioning, to the roof and flooring.

"We've had contractors and subcontractors just come out of the woodwork, it's been so generous," said Howell.

CORT donated the furniture, and it just arrived this week, now they're putting on the final touches.

"It's literally touch-ups, and there are a few additional pieces, some flat-screen TVs, now we're adding the smaller things that are all important to the experience," said Howell.

"It's hard to put a price tag on that, if you wanna put it on a Visa commercial, you'd say it's priceless," said Tansil.

Organizers are still hoping to open the cottage in about two weeks and the Folds of Honor foundation is talking to families about whose schedule is open around July 15.

The foundation plans to build another Honor Cottage on Keystone Lake and more across the country.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

Builderdude1 - 7/8/2013 8:20 PM
0 Votes
I agree, as did my 23 year old "journalist" daughter . She even commented that Michelle showed she hadn't any previous involvement in the Honor Cottage history and exhibited she was simply "covering" a story without collecting the facts. Anyway, it's a shame how much of the recent coverage has been so improperly reported! Sad too, how the Tulsa World has yet to re-report their May faux pas. However, our subs and suppliers are very much like your reference of our servicemen and women.....none of which would complain about contributing to the cause. Their countless hours and tens of thousands of dollars in dedication was not shared for recognition but rather for their Love of Country and thanks to our soldiers. In my opinion, they're "Hero's" of another kind. Nonetheless the report by Fox 23 was simply deplorable. Quite frankly, I'm personally embarrassed by it all. Have a great day, Brad "iPhone iUse" Bradford A McMains, CM, GC The Hunter Companies Tulsa, Ok. 74137 (cell) 918-830-3271

HomesByHolli - 7/5/2013 12:58 PM
0 Votes
I would absolutely have to concur with Hunter2, and I truly hope once reviewing the footage, that Michelle you and everyone at Fox will recognize the NEGATIVE tone in your opening remarks and the news anchor that led into the story. I pray and believe all of those including myself that have worked tirelessly to raise funds and inspire people to give to this amazing cause won't be as taken aback as I was when I saw this story. Please let me know when you are working on a project of this magnitude and putting your heart and soul into it. Heaven forbid your timeline not be spot on. It is my firm belief that every Military service man/woman and their families that are able to have a reprieve by using this cottage will forgive any unmet deadlines. That, NOT THIS STORY is what Truly Matters. God Bless our service men/women that provide us he freedom we enjoy in this amazing country everyday, and God Bless our media for their Spin on these inspiring stories.

michellelinn - 7/5/2013 7:31 AM
0 Votes
Hunter2, I'm so sorry you felt like this was a "kick in the rear". I did not intend that. I'm inspired by your generosity, and the hard work of all of the volunteers who've made the Honor Cottage possible. I honestly didn't mean for the story to be negative. I just intended to update viewers on the progress and time frame. No families were available to interview with me Wednesday. Folds of Honor tried to make that happen. I would love to talk to a family, after they've spent time there, about what a fantastic experience it was. That will be a great story.

Hunter2 - 7/4/2013 6:37 PM
0 Votes
Michelle, I'm sure you feel this is a positive story... because it is. But, just read the headline on your website still posted under Top Stories "Honor Cottage NOT Ready for 4th of July Weekend" then click on the story and the opening line reads " Honor Cottage Delayed Again". Not very good word choices about a positive story ultimately about hope and healing... The leadin sounds more like a train wreck story is about to be told. The story should have been about our first guests enjoying The Honor Cottage and what it means to those families. Similar to those stories done on Habitat for Humanity homes. I have to question the decision of even doing a story yesterday? Those of us who have been quietly,dutifully and humbly working behind the scenes for over a year now doing all the heavy lifting for this most worthy cause were patiently waiting yesterday afternoon for you and your crew to finish so that we could go into The Honor Cottage one last time to fulfill our final obligations in completing our work by the 4th of July as promised back in March when the construction began. The painters completed their touch up painting around 6:30 and we all left feeling good about completing a job well done for some very special people to whom we may never know, yet we bless nightly in our prayers. Upon settling in at home after another long day, I tuned in, as I usually do, to Fox 23 News. Upon seeing the story, the great feelings felt a few hours before were gone. Wasn't looking for a pat on the back, just not expecting a kick in the rear.

michellelinn - 7/4/2013 1:01 PM
0 Votes
Hunter2- I did the story. I'm sorry you think it was terrible coverage. It's obviously an incredibly generous and inspirational project. I felt like the remarks included in my story, by Ron Howell, from CrossTimbers Marina, and Thomas Tansil, from Folds of Honor, clearly conveyed that. We've been covering The Honor Cottage since it was conceptualized in September. At that time, the goal was to host a scholarship recipient family over Memorial Day weekend. When we updated the story in May, we reported that it would host the first family over the July 4th holiday. It was necessary to update our viewers on the progress and time frame. Frankly, I'm shocked you found this story "negative". I think it's a positive story, and after spending the afternoon there, and seeing how focused and dedicated Folds of Honor is, and how motivated CrossTimbers Marina is, I'm confident more Honor Cottages will pop up all over the country. Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback. I'm sorry you felt that way. Michelle

Hunter2 - 7/4/2013 11:52 AM
0 Votes
Terrible coverage of such a truly genuine heartfelt effort by so manyt to hopefully bring better days to the families of our fallen and severely injured Heros. Your choice to focus your story with a such negative viewpoint is an insult to all who have worked the thousands of hours and donated the thousands of dollars in builing this, the first in America, Honor Cottage donated to The Folds of Honor for the sole and exclusive use by only those families who know the real pain of sacrifice for the Freedom we Americans are so blessed to have.
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