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In a year filled with stories of Covid, wildfires, hurricanes, and politics, good news seems hard to come by. But sometimes, good can’t be stopped and a story breaks through that touches so many people it brings a community together. That is the story of Meghan and Bart Newstone of Salem, their soon-to-be adopted daughter, a local backyard contractor, and the deck that brought together more than 100 donors, volunteers, businesses, and neighbors to make a wish come true.

As they process the adoption that will make their daughter a permanent member of their family, the Newstone’s can not her name or condition, but Meghan will be the first to tell you that she is someone incredibly special. “Our daughter is tenacious and stubborn in the best of ways, and has overcome challenge after challenge to make it to 6! Her rare genetic condition was one she wasn’t meant to survive, and several issues will continue to limit her mobility and mean many more surgeries to come to improve her quality of life as much as possible.” That quality of life is the number one goal of Meghan, an ICU Nurse, and her husband Bart, a retired state employee who quit his job to be more available to their daughter and her medical needs.

Due to her condition, their daughter qualified for Make-A-Wish, and the plan became to give her an amazing life experience like Disneyland, but a decline in her condition and Covid restrictions meant that was no longer possible. So the Newstone’s turned their focus to home and one of the joy’s of their daughter’s life: Being Outside! “She is so curious and loves being outside no matter the weather, but the only part of our yard she can access due to her mobility limitations is the deck, which was small and uncovered so it was a barely usable space for us.” So the wish became a new deck with a patio cover, creating an oasis right in their own backyard!

This wish did not come easy as many things in their daughter’s life. Unfortunately, required permits and an unforeseen issue with existing property lines became a roadblock for Make-A-Wish Oregon. That’s when their backyard contractor Rick’s Custom Fencing and Decking stepped in to move the project forward despite the obstacles, both physically and financially. Rick’s Fencing decided to fund the entire cost of this special project, with help from their vendors, a generous donation from United Way, and 80 people who donated to a Go Fund Me that the Newstone’s set up. Rick’s Fencing has a reputation of working with Make-A-Wish Oregon to grant similar backyard makeover wishes, along with their work with local organizations supporting education and fighting houselessness in our communities.

Almost 6 months later, on what normally should have been a one month project, Rick’s Fencing finally received approval from Polk County to start the project, and they began construction on a brand new 750 square foot deck complete with Aluminum Handrail, Composite Decking, and a 500 square foot Acrilyte Patio Cover. “The idea was to design this to be the most usable space and keep everything low-maintenance so that the Newstone’s could focus on quality time with their daughter,” said Taylor Pawley, Rick’s director of Marekting and Outreach. To cap off the project, Make-A-Wish provided furniture and equipment for the deck once it was constructed, and 20 volunteers came together to put the finishing touches on this new backyard space. “We are so grateful that this all came together and that Rick’s and everyone involved loves our daughter as much as we do and were willing to make this happen,” said Bart at the conclusion of this project.


Taylor Headshot

The Rick’s Community Support Drive is an ongoing effort by Rick’s Custom Fencing and Decking to support the communities that have supported us for the last 40 years.

If you have questions, suggestions, or know of an organization or individual that may need help, please reach out to Taylor Pawley, founder of the Rick’s Community Support Drive, directly.