- Associated Press - Saturday, November 28, 2020

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) - The 2020 St. Jude dream home winner didn’t hear her name announced on KPLC-TV Sept. 20. She was in bed recovering from the coronavirus.

“I think you won the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway,” Mildred Jack’s daughter told her.

At first, she was incredulous. Her daughter repeated the news: “I think you won.”

Finally, it sunk in.

“I started “jumping up and down, hollering and praising God,” Mildred Jack said. “This is truly a blessing.”

Jack said the blessing is all the sweeter because the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway and her ticket purchase helps St. Jude patients and their families. And 2020 has been a “rough year.”

She acknowledged 2020 hasn’t just been rough for her family. However, in addition to Jack and her husband contracting COVID-19 and going through two hurricanes - their current home wasn’t damaged as bad as some of the homes in the area, she said - the Jacks lost a close family member.

“This is the light at the end of the tunnel,” she said.

Jack wanted to purchase a ticket last year, but by the time she made up her mind to do so, the tickets were sold out. This year, she didn’t delay.

“I had to get a ticket,” she said.

Mildred Jack, her husband Joseph, daughter Rosalyn and son Joseph Jr. saw the house in person for the first time on Wednesday.

As the family went from room to room, they expressed admiration and appreciation for the abundance of storage, the open design with a view of the outside living area and trees, the deep soaking pool, the trim work on the master bedroom accent wall, the barn doors used to save space in the family entryway and office area to hide the pantry and half bath, the kitchen’s huge refrigerator and the built-in coffee maker, which did look a little “Jetson” space age for boomers who remember that cartoon.

“I will probably have to bring my old coffee maker from home if I want a cup of coffee,” Joseph Jack said, with a chuckle.

Salvador Construction Homes has been the contractor for the St. Jude Dream Home for the last three years, and Kim Salvador said they’re already picking out a lot for next year’s St. Jude Dream Home.

Hurricanes Laura and Delta caused minimal damage to the house, according to Salvador. A few shingles and an outside light globe had to be replaced.

Daughter Kristian Salvador helps with design and collaborates with Changing Spaces, the company that has staged the house for the last two years.

The Jacks viewed the house, virtually, after it was staged with furnishings from Changing Spaces.

“We usually have an idea in mind before we begin a design job, “Lana Schafer, Changing Spaces, said during an earlier interview with the American Press. “But like many design plans, and especially now because of COVID, the plan is fluid.”

Not everything came in as ordered. Some pieces didn’t come in at all.

The overall unifying interior theme is a modern take on chinoiserie (SHEN-WAZ REE), a French word for Chinese-esque.

Joseph and Mildred Jack have been living off Lake Street for almost 20 years. She is a home health worker. He is a pipe inspector for the construction industry.

“It feels good to see your parents, who have worked so hard, be able to have something like this,” said Joseph Jr.

Rosalyn Jack said she thinks the new house will add to the joy of the holiday season, and the refrigerator would certainly hold all the family’s holiday favorites.

Now that the Jacks have the information they need to move forward, they plan is to be in the house for the holidays, if possible.

“Whatever way it falls will work for us,” Mildred Jack said. “We’ll get here when we can and no matter when that is, we will enjoy it.”

Other 2020 Lake Charles St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway Prize winners: Tricia Breaux-Matte, Sulphur, $2,500 gift card courtesy of Ron Richard Companies; Sharon Dunham, Sulphur, zero-turn mower courtesy of Henderson Tractor & Implement, Lake Charles; and Joseph Courville, Welsh, 2020 Chevrolet Spark LS, courtesy of Lake Charles Area Chevrolet dealers.

Kim Salvador said several local businesses helped build the dream home with donations of time and/or materials, in addition to Salvador Custom Homes: ABC Supply Co., Acadian Brick & Stone, All-Phase Insulation, Apex Alarms, Basone Development Solutions, Bourque Brothers Dirt Service, Budget Blinds of Lake Charles, C&C Home Appliances, Castillo Brothers, Chad Armentor Services, Changing Spaces Furniture, Chapa Brothers, Coastal Cans, Colonial Glass, Custom Cabinets by Monty Augustine, Cutrer Media, Danielle Nester Faulk Fine Arts & Gifts, Dunham Price, IxMex, J & J Exterminating, J & S Metals, J.R. Delcid Painting, Jarod Hebert Architects, Jeanne Daigle Construction Cleaning, Jones, Tete, Fonti & Belfour, Landscape Management Services, Louisiana Concrete, Mehus Brothers Roofing, Mertha Lemons PHD (Paper Hanger Decorator), Mike Baker Brick, Moss Bluff Floors, Nichols Contracting and Consulting, Overhead Doors of Cenla, Savoy House, Sherwin-Williams, South Point Services, Southern Bath & Kitchen, Stine Lumber, Teche Electric Supply (Lafayette), The Coppersmith, Tora Fontenot Air Conditioning, Turf Grass Farms, Wright’s Plumbing Service.

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