Hunting lodge for disabled vets and kids under construction

Volunteers working on lodge for the Freedom and Hope Foundation
Volunteers working on lodge for the Freedom and Hope Foundation

PROSPERITY, SC (WIS) - Terry Cotney has a big heart. And right now it's filled with emotion.

"I'm about to cry now," he said. "It's so exciting to see these walls go up. I've been dreaming about this for a long time."

For two years the Vietnam veteran has been working for this day. Cotney manages the  Freedom and Hope Foundation.

The group provides therapy to disabled veterans and sick children by taking them hunting and fishing.  Soon that treatment will take place in a brand new lodge across the street.

"Our soldiers and special needs kids deserve first class," said Cotney.

It will have two large bedrooms and a meeting room for guests. He says the total cost is $170,000.

"A lot of people say we can't help because the economy," said Cotney. "I don't mean to be smart. Don't tell me you can't help due to the economy. Tell that to these wounded soldiers."

Cotney says 70% of donations have come from area churches and businesses.

He got help from some of them Friday. Even wounded veterans like retired Sgt. Damion Peyton helped.

"It's a pleasure to give back to a group," he said. "We get a lot. We also like to give back to show our appreciation."

"It means a lot to all of us," said Ruben Pedro of Fort Gordon.

But Cotney still needs help.

"We need cabinets, insulation and metal windows and doors and then this building will be completed in a matter of a couple of months," he said.

His dream is so close to coming true.

"Trying to share that love," he said. "Repay that love. Giving a home away from home to strangers."

If you would like to help, call 803- 271-1861. You can also visit any First Community Bank and donate money to the Freedom and Hope Foundation Building Fund.

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