Builders wow organizers with generous donations for sick children  

By Pat Curry
Monthly Briefing Editor

The home builder community has once again shown its heart for those in need of a helping hand. In late August, Chuck and Emma Shinn asked Builder Partnerships members and their friends in residential construction to consider supporting their annual involvement in Driving for Kids. 

Driving for Kids is part of America’s British Reliability Run (BRR), a fun, but challenging, driving event of about 600 miles for British car hobbyists. Teams of drivers travel on great roads through beautiful countryside and enjoy the company of fellow British car enthusiasts, all for a good cause. Across the country, America’s BRR has raised more than $180,000 for worthy children’s charities. 

Driving for Kids, the Colorado version of the event, supports Roundup River Ranch in Gypsum, Colorado, a medically supported camp for children ages 7-17 who have been diagnosed with a serious illness. Part of the Paul Newman-founded SeriousFun Network of Camps, Roundup River Ranch is free to campers and their families.   

The event, held Sept. 23-25, drew 18 teams that traveled 620 miles of back country Colorado mountain roads; the Shinns were driving their yellow-and-black 1963 Morgan Roadster. On the cold, rainy opening day of the trip, they experienced what it was like to drive a British roadster in the 1960s. 

“As we gained altitude, the rain turned to snow,” Chuck Shinn said. “The Morgan has no heat or defroster and the windshield wipers are only 4 inches long. Emma functioned as my defroster with a towel, and the windshield wipers turned the snow to ice, reducing the width of the area of view. As we crested Rabbit Ears Pass, at elevation 9,426 feet, I felt like I was driving a tank with a view out the windshield of about 2 inches wide by 4 inches high.” 

The Shinns’ “Team Shindig Rover” led the 18 teams in donations, raising $4,900. Together, the teams raised $25,000 for children to attend camp at Roundup River Ranch. When the Shinns finished collecting donations, they sent a thank-you email to all their supporters and mentioned that they hoped to find someone to match the total.

Dwight Sandlin, cofounder and chief executive officer of Signature Homes in Birmingham, Alabama, sent an email to his fellow builder group member Stephen Brooks, CEO of Grand Homes in Addison, Texas. 

“Dwight told Stephen, ‘You made so much money last year, you ought to pony up and match the funds,’” Shinn said. “Stephen did it. Then Dwight sent me a separate email, saying, ‘I will match whatever Stephen gives.’”

Shinn gave Brooks the option of matching what the Shinns raised on their team or the amount raised by all 18 teams, which at the time was $22,000. Brooks generously matched the full amount raised.

“Dwight agreed to match it and said, ‘Stephen always wins,’” Shinn said. "So, he wrote out a check for $22,001 so he would be the winner."

Notably, the matching funds the two builders donated were on top of the generous contributions they had already made to Team Shindig Rover. That brought the total amount raised from the three-day event to more than $69,000 — enough to send 27 children to camp!  

“It was a fun three days of fellowship with other antique British car enthusiasts for a wonderful cause,” Chuck said. “Emma and I truly appreciate your support for us, the kids, and Roundup River Ranch.”  

Chuck and Emma Shinn would like to thank everyone who made donations to Driving for Kids to benefit Roundup River Ranch. They are: 

Jamie Baessler from Baessler Homes 

Todd Booze from Ideal Homes  

Stephen Brooks from Grand Homes 

Lita Dirks from Lita Dirks & Co. 

Brian Hamilton from Land Title Guarantee Co. 

Rich Kashian from MiTek SAPPHIRE Build 

Alan Looney from Castle Homes 

Ben Minks from Capstone Homes  

Steve Moore from BSB Design  

Dwight Sandlin from Signature Homes  

Bill Wynn from Wynn Homes  

Builder Partnerships team members Monica Wheaton, Emma Jane Wildermuth, and Pat Curry