Sam Iaquinta, director of Castellano Custom Homes, said the reason the company is building a luxury home in King’s Heights isn’t to make a profit – the company is instead looking to sell the house and donate the money the Alberta Children’s Hospital (ACH) and the Stollery Children’s Hospital (SCH).
Iaquinta said the motivation behind the campaign comes from his personal experiences with his two-year-old son, Ben, who has Down syndrome and a chromosomal defect. In 2013, after being in and out of hospital, Ben came home with a collection of beads in different shapes, colours and figures that symbolized every major procedure he had while he was in care – by the end, he had collected 66 beads.
“We had received pretty unbelievable care,” Iaquinta said. “We felt that we could do something that would support the hospital.”
He said the staff at the facilities saved his son’s life by administering an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation machine to help Ben’s failing lungs.
“Ben became exceptionally sick, to the point where he expired from acute respiratory failure,” Iaquinta said. “He basically couldn't oxygenate anymore and he died on the operating table...[but] they managed to save his life.”
Drawing from his experience in luxury homes, Iaquinta said he will negotiate to obtain the lowest building costs to produce a high-quality estate home. This, he said, will allow Castellano Homes to maximize the money it can donate.
“It's a way to give back with some impact,” Iaquinta said. “We're hoping to raise somewhere between $300,000 and $400,000 with one project.Our goal is to do it every couple of years.”
This is Castellano Homes’ first Home for Hope, and Iaquinita said the project could begin in a few weeks.
He added, the company will host a family-friendly event Aug. 24 at the King’s Heights skating rink that will act as a fundraiser and raise awareness of the project. The event, Iaquinta said, will feature a shinny tournament, a beer garden, live entertainment and bouncy castles.
For the event to succeed, he said, Castellano Homes is asking for the community’s support and is looking for chairs, tables and materials for the activities. For more information or to help, visit castellanohomes.com