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Tway, Wood help students on Habitat project during Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic

March 27, 2014

By Phil Stambaugh, PGA TOUR Staff

GULFPORT, Miss.- After the death of her husband, an Air Force veteran, Willempje Engle wondered if her new Gulfport, Miss., residence would ever get finished. Engle’s spouse worked on the home constantly over the last few years of his life, and it was to be their perfect retirement abode in the golden years. But things change fast in life, and her husband’s passing left Engle a widow without the project that consumed his life being completed.

However, thanks to several Champions Tour professionals as well as Habitat for Humanity volunteers from the University of Connecticut, Engle’s home is now one step closer to being finished. Former PGA Championship winner Bob Tway and Willie Wood, a two-time Champions Tour winner, both in town last week for the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic presented by C Spire, volunteered their time to help the Connecticut students who were there as part of Collegiate Challenge, a Habitat alternative spring break program.

The scope of the project included completing a back addition on Engle’s home by adding windows, siding, paint and some finishing work in a space that will be used for storage. Additionally, the students from Connecticut will perform weatherization efforts including caulking, weather stripping and insulation.

“I’m much better at hammering nails than I am at playing golf lately,” Wood said. “It’s very rewarding to come out and participate in something like this, but I also think Bob and I had fun doing it.”

“This area of the country holds a special place in my heart. I played in a pro-am here just after Katrina, and you just couldn’t believe the destruction. That pro-am morphed into our Champions Tour event down here, and it’s amazing to come back each year and see what they’ve done. Habitat for Humanity is a great organization,” Tway said. “What really impressed me the most are the college kids from the University of Connecticut who have come down here to spend their spring break volunteering their time to help Mrs. Engle.”

Habitat for Humanity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast was formed in January 2007 and has constructed or repaired more than 850 homes. This local chapter works in partnership with community stakeholders to create innovative, sustainable housing solutions by empowering all members of the community to actively participate in creating opportunity for people to transform their own lives.

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