Community spirit at Kelso

A Yallourn North project has been recognised with Latrobe City Council’s Australia Day community service award.

Falling under the banner of the Kelso Road Project, 140 volunteers revamped and renovated the run-down property of Chris Sporton, to enable her and her daughter Nicolle to stay in their home.

In 2003, the Sportons suffered the loss of their daughter Kristie, who died at the age of 18 in a car accident in Yallourn North.

Then in August, 2013 they lost their son Luke, at the age of 26, in a workplace electrical accident.

Friends of the family saw it as more important than ever for Chris to remain in her home that held so many memories.

The Sportons’ story touched the hearts of many and attracted donations, totalling more than $48,000 from 208 community members and material donations from more than 70 local businesses.

Kelso Road Project spokeswoman Monique DeCarli said all who participated in the project were happy to be recognised.

“It’s pretty great, we’re all really happy, the team as well as the Sporton family are all really excited,” Ms DeCarli said.

“It’s a really great tribute to Sporty as well which we’re happy about.”

Just more than a year after the project officially finished, the crew responsible for the renovation reunited yesterday at the Sporton’s house.

“Chris was really happy for us, really excited, we received a letter letting us know and everyone was in shock, we didn’t even know we were nominated,” Ms DeCarli said.

“We want to thank all the volunteers and everyone that donated because it wasn’t possible without all of them.”