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West Valley City Journal

Paint the house green: local resident gets boost from Zions Bank Paint-a-Thon

Jul 03, 2019 03:48PM ● By Travis Barton

Zions Bank employees touch up Holly Davis’ house as part of the company’s Paint-a-Thon. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

By Travis Barton | [email protected]

Five surgeries over three years. 

That’s how many operations West Valley City resident Holly Davis, 64, has had treating her hip after she fell and hit her hip on a railroad tie pulling bags of bark out of her car. 

“It’s been hard, and I’ve wanted to give up,” Davis said. “I’m not LDS, but I told Heavenly Father that as long as he keeps sending me angels, I will hang in there.” 

Those angels arrived in the form of Zions Bank employees. A group has been delivering food to Davis for four years as part of the Meals on Wheels program. One of those employees, Pauli Kakau, mentioned to Davis the bank’s annual Paint-a-Thon—a volunteer project where Zions employees set aside time in the summer to help elderly, disabled and veteran homeowners with home improvements.  

“They didn’t give me much notice, but it was a surprise,” Davis said in front of her house while volunteers cleaned up their work. As part of Zions Bank’s Paint-a-Thon, more than 50 volunteers helped paint Davis home during a week in mid-June from a bluish-gray color to “recycled glass and green sprout.” 

“I’ve just had a perma-grin on my face all week,” said Davis, a retired accounting clerk who has lived in her home for 15 years.  

Kakau said the best experience of the week is seeing the smile on Davis face. 

“It’s just fulfilling that you’re able to help somebody live out a dream they probably never could have accomplished (otherwise),” he said. 

Davis has been dealing with complications from her operations. Forty years ago, her pelvis was broken by a drunk driver, at the time she was instructed to let it heal on her own. As a result, her bones proved very brittle for her present-day operation, where her left leg was turned to better align her gait. One side effect, however, was she developed a drop foot, a condition where the front part of the foot has difficulty lifting. 

Davis wasn’t the only homeowner getting a makeover, volunteers spent the week cleaning and painting 31 homes, including another West Valley home for Robert and Shirley Tripp, 86, 84. 

The average age of those homeowners this year was 72, with an average yearly income of $21,800. 

Older Americans are increasingly choosing to age in place. “More than 90 percent of people over age 65 want to stay in their home for as long as possible,” according to the American Society on Aging and AARP.