Emily Parson, vice president of marketing at Centra (left), broke the news to the Geleynse family Wednesday that they would be receiving windows in their home for free. Andy, Ben and Yvonne Geleynse didn’t anticipate they would be the winners of a B.C.-wide contest. - Credit: Carli Berry/Capital News

Kelowna family receives good news

Centra Windows presented the Geleynse family with free windows for their home

One Kelowna family was brought to tears when they heard the news they would be receiving new windows in their home for free.

Centra Windows ran a contest to provide new windows to a family in need, valued at $15,000.

More than 220 entries came in, said Emily Parson, vice president of marketing at Centra.

The contest was a way for the company to make its community efforts known and was shared through Facebook, she said.

While there was only supposed to be one winner, Centra was so moved by their stories, three families were chosen from Nanaimo, Maple Ridge and Kelowna.

The Kelowna family was presented with the news, Friday, June 23. It came as a surprise, as they only thought they were finalists.

Centra broke the news to the Geleynse family in their living room.

“This is fantastic,” said Andy Geleynse. “It’s been kind of stressful the last little while because any additional income has gone to you know, a can of paint.”

Andy planned to renovate his home on Hammer Avenue with the help of his son Ben. But when an unexpected accident left Ben unable to help, Andy had to care for his son as well.

Andy and his wife, Yvonne, now live in a home that badly needs upgrades. Due to medical costs and with Ben unable to work, life has taken an unexpected turn for this family.

“I think the biggest thing is that honestly it just gives Andy a break and it’s one less thing he has to do because he’s been working nonstop since the day we moved in,” said daughter-in-law Lee Geleynse.

The family was aware the house needed work, but didn’t anticipate the extent of the renovations.

“We kind of tried to figure out priorities… we knew going into this house that there was a lot more to do than on the surface, but we didn’t realize how much. We started taking walls down and finding black mould. A tiny drywall repair turned into renovating the entire basement,” said Ben.

“We’ve got holes where we framed windows in, but we’ve covered them out because we can’t afford the windows.”

The Geleynse family was nominated by a family friend for their selflessness and kind hearts. They currently care for their four adopted daughters – all who have lifelong disabilities due to unfortunate circumstances early on in life.

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