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by Bob Moore,
© 2000, Southwest Illinois News
EAST ST. LOUIS, Dec 5, 2000 - The Home Team, a philanthropic project initiated by D'Marco Farr and Michael Jones of the St. Louis Rams with St. Louis 2004's Team St. Louis, celebrated a house warming for two newly renovated homes in the Emerson Park neighborhood.
House keys were turned over to the Peete and Williams families, who are now realizing their dreams of home ownership. Both new home owners will assume monthly home mortgage payments for the houses which were renovated and furnished just in time for the holidays.
On a cold Tuesday afternoon, Myrene Williams, mother of three, smiled warmly as she accepted the keys to her new home. "I'm ecstatic and overjoyed. I feel so blessed and grateful to everybody who has made this dream come true."
D'Marco Farr and Michael Jones came to Team St. Louis with the idea for the project during the off-season, and together formed the Home Team. The Michael Jones and Farr Family Foundations provided substantial down payments for the two properties in East St. Louis. The Home Team drafted additional teammates, secured corporate support from Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse, Carol House of Furniture and Target Stores as well as media support from KTVI FOX2 and KLOU 103.3 FM Radio. The effort was supported by Emerson Park Development Corporation, YouthBuild and the Regional Housing and Community Development Alliance.
The families selected their furniture with interior decorating advice from Carol House representatives and Cynthia Farr, D'Marco's wife. Lowe's has committed up to $80,000 to renovate eight more homes beginning with the St. Louis 2004 Sustainable Neighborhood of Walnut Park.
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