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16|July 2021
Slippery rock Gazette
  Retired U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Jay Fondren and fam- ily, and their new smart home. Fondren was born in Corsicana, Texas. He grew up spending a lot of time with both his parents and grandparents. His grandfa- ther, Willard, was a retired U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant and taught Jay to love his country.
  Natural Stone Institute Completes 35th Home with Gary Sinise Foundation
The Natural Stone Institute has provided natural stone and fabrication services for its 35th home with the Gary Sinise Foundation through its R.I.S.E. (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment) program. The Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program builds 100 percent mortgage-free specially adapted smart homes for severely wounded veterans and first responders. Natural stone and fabrication for U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Jay Fondren and his family in Texas were provided by Walker Zanger, Dee Brown, and Real Stone Veneers of Tennessee.
Jay enlisted in the Army in January 2000 and was initially shipped to Fort Sill, Oklahoma. There he learned loyalty, duty, respect, courage, and honor. The service quickly reminded Jay of the values his family had in- stilled upon him growing up. He had found his new home. On November 24, 2004, Jay was se- verely injured by a roadside bomb while serving in Iraq. Both of his legs were blown off above the knee, but Jay’s protective in- stincts kicked in. His initial con- cerns were for his fellow service members, but he soon learned that it was in fact himself who was in the most immediate need
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Villa Florence Downey, CA
Carnevale & Lohr, Inc.
Bell Gardens, CA
of medical care. After the attack, Jay was in a coma and was flown to Walter Reed Army Medical Center. When he woke up, his wife, sister, mother, and father were there to greet him, demon- strating the strong sense of family the Fondrens had always shown.
Jay currently works with Camp Hope in Houston, a faith-based residential treatment center for veterans. Jay, his wife, Anne, and their six children currently live in the Houston area. Their new spe- cially adapted smart home will help them in their daily lives and provide them the chance to em- bark on a new chapter of their lives.
Companies interested in get- ting involved with future proj- ects are encouraged to contact Pam Hammond at pam@natural To learn more, and to see a list of all Natural Stone Institute members who have donated their time, prod- ucts, and services to this cause, visit www.naturalstoneinstitute. org/RISE.
The Natural Stone Institute is a trade association representing ev- ery aspect of the natural stone in- dustry. The current membership exceeds 2,000 members in over 50 nations. The association offers
awidearrayoftechnicalandtrain- ing resources, professional devel- opment opportunities, regulatory advocacy, and networking events. Two prominent publications—the Dimension Stone Design Manual and Building Stone Magazine— raise awareness within the natural stone industry and in the design community for best practices and uses of natural stone. Learn more at
                Judges Comments: “The desire of the client to create something so palatial is really quite special. Choice of materials and execution are top shelf. A mastery of installa- tion, with 1/16 - inch jointing and precise book matched detailing using heavily veined stone. De- spite the eclectic and extensive use of natural stone, the project deserves credit for its non-dis- daining ability in the use of sal- vaged stone repurposed as tiles, applied appropriately in smaller rooms of the home. Congratu- lations to Carnevale & Lohr. We would also like to congratulate NSI member companies Cus- tom Building Products, Menzi Marmi and Trade International for their involvement.
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