Fasano Participates in Rebuilding Together Project
Leslye Lea’s neighbors had to wonder what all of the fuss was about in front of her 33-year-old house as television trucks were set up to capture something special. Lea, who lives in the house with her 16-year-old daughter, Ashley, and her 79-year-old mother, Evelyn, was chosen by Rebuilding Together to have her home renovated.
Scores of people dressed in orange Special Teams shirts representing the Miami Dolphins Foundation and Special Teams Program driven by Chevy took over Lea’s property with hammers and paintbrushes. Dolphins tight end Anthony Fasano helped out along with wide receiver Brian Hartline, cornerback Will Allen, safety Tyrone Culver, kicker Dan Carpenter and defensive lineman Ryan Baker.
“Words cannot really express how I feel,” said Lea, who served in the United States Navy from 1989-95 as a disbursement clerk. “I just sat back outside and I saw it all torn up and just looked at it and I’ve taken pictures along the way so I can look back and make a big collage. There are so many things to be thankful for and I’m excited as I go along on the journey.”
Lea’s mother has been battling colon rectal cancer since August and actually had to be taken to the hospital while all of the renovations were going on to prepare for an upcoming surgery. She came back with Leslye and Ashley to take it all in and catch a glimpse of the players helping out, watching scenes like the one of Allen pushing a wheel barrel full of broken up concrete.
For Fasano, the entire experience really hit home for him as Rebuilding Together is the organization he chose to align his foundation with. Last month he hosted a comedy showcase at The Fillmore in Miami Beach to help raise money for military families in need.
“It was my privilege to be able to team up with them in my comedy event, but to be able to come to an actual house and see the money go to good use is important to me,” Fasano said. “There are a lot of families in need and the Leas are a great example of some of the families that Rebuilding Together helps and we all need to pitch in and help more of them.”
In addition to the time and sweat being donated by the players, staff, volunteers and members of the Miami Dolphins Women’s Organization, the Foundation gave $10,000 to Rebuilding Together for the renovation. Best Buy of Davie is donating televisions, Rooms To Go is donating furniture for all of the bedrooms and the living room and other Foundation partners and staff and volunteers are donating bedding and other items.
This home is one of the bigger ones Rebuilding Together has renovated as it is more than 2,000 square feet with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a swimming pool out back. It had been in serious need of repair due to roof leaks and other property hazards, so the timing couldn’t have been more perfect for the Leas.
“They were actually a referral from the city of Hollywood,” said Sandra Einhorn, Executive Director of Rebuilding Together Broward County. “The family had several violations on the property for property standards, including the fact that their front porch was caving in and the pool in the back as well. When we went inside we saw that what was going on outside was just the beginning.
“Rebuilding Together is always committed to restoring safe and healthy living conditions to the homeowner and to improving their quality of life. So we’re not here to pimp out their house or lay down marble floors, we’re here to provide them with the same standard of living that we would want for ourselves and for our family members.”
The Dolphins players that showed up were touched by Leslye Lea’s story and what she was going through with her mother. Now she handles medical insurance billing for an orthopedic group in Aventura, so between working, taking care of her mother and watching her daughter become a lance corporal in ROTC she has been busy.
“We can’t even compare to the amount they’ve given to our country and our community,” Hartline said. “But again to try to do something small and maybe big in stature to military families and ROTC and people involved with the military is really a great honor.”
Culver brought with him a strong connection to the cause because he has a sincere appreciation for what exactly it is that our members of the armed forces do in order to protect our freedoms.
“I’ve had opportunities to go and visit troops in the past,” Culver said. “Just the sacrifices they make in their daily lives putting their lives on the line and being away from their families out fighting so we can do the things we do over here, we really appreciate them. So going out there today and giving back to them means a lot to me and I’m sure everybody else out here.”