Fundraising effort for Mr. Gilbert successful

Published 7:00 am Thursday, November 30, 2017

Efforts to raise funds to pay for renovation work to a more suitable home for Gilbert Pfisterer have been successful, paving the way for a WWII veteran to be moved in by Christmas.

That was the message shared by Matt Ladner to members of the Exchange Club of Picayune during its Wednesday afternoon meeting, the Hancock County man who led the charge in that effort.

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Ladner started his update with the backstory on how he met Pfisterer and became involved in the effort. Ladner said one day while heading to work at Stennis on Highway 11, he passed a stranded vehicle, and noticed Pfisterer limp as he attempted to repair the vehicle.

Something in the back of his mind prompted him to turn around and provide assistance, and eventually make Pfisterer’s life much better.

Ladner soon found that Pfisterer was living in a dilapidated mobile home in an area rife with crime.

So, after helping Pfisterer get his car fixed, his grass cut and establishing reliable water service to the mobile home, Ladner would eventually contact the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity to see if there was a way to help put Pfisterer in better housing.

Once a deal was struck with the local chapter, the only thing left to do was find funding to buy the supplies to fix the floors, porch, appliances and so many other things in the home.

Ladner said the community stepped up, recently hitting his goal of more than $20,000 to not only renovate the home, but also set aside extra funds to help cover the insurance, taxes and several months of utility bills.

With a goal of Christmas to finish the renovation work and have Pfisterer moved in, the time frame was tight. But Ladner said he expects the pleasant weather forecast for the next two weekends to provide the volunteers and contract workers ample time to finish the odds and ends and have Pfisterer moved in by the middle of December.

Ladner said several individuals and organizations have come to the aid of Pfisterer, including State Representative Stacey Wilkes and children attending a Hancock County elementary school.