Home for Little Heroes

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Building a Charitable and Beautiful Partnership Between Summit Homes and Children’s Mercy!

Story by Ann Butenas     |     Photos by Matthew Anderson

Most houses become a home when families move into them and fill them with love, joy, laughter and memories. However, one home in particular has already been furnished with copious amounts of such emotional detail, as it was built with a specific purpose in mind. Located in the Reserve at Ravenwood, this floor plan, appropriately called “Serenity,” was constructed in alignment with its builder’s solid commitment to community. A Summit Homes product, this home has strong ties to the company’s dedication to build and support strong communities in Kansas City, as well as across the United States. Summit Homes not only considers it a privilege to give back to others, but also a responsibility. So, while Summit Homes is known for its portfolio of award-winning floor plans, it rises far above with its heart of service, a plan from which the company will never waver.

Recognized as the largest new-home builder in the Kansas City area, Summit Homes has donated in excess of $1.1 million to various charities in the past year alone. This year, however, ushers in yet another era of charitable giving, as Summit Homes harmoniously partnered with Children’s Mercy to bring to fruition the first ever Home for Little Heroes. This single family, custom built home will be sold with all of the proceeds donated to help support Children’s Mercy’s non-profit mission of bringing support to kids and their families. The project broke ground on February 23, 2018 and was a highlight on this year’s Fall Parade of Homes.

Jenea Oliver, Vice President of Philanthropy at Children’s Mercy, expressed heightened enthusiasm at this beautiful partnership between builder and hospital.

“We believe very strongly in our mission, which is to care for all children and their families,” she emphasized. “We were impressed by Summit Homes and how they follow their own similar mission, providing love and care to families where they live. The way in which they are engaged with the community is what appealed to us about this project.”

Through the generous donations of individuals and companies alike, Children’s Mercy provides an estimated $172 million annually of uncompensated care to patients, and these generous donations allow the hospital to treat all patients and their families as VIPs. Hence, the Home for Little Heroes name.

“We refer to our patients as Little Heroes,” noted Oliver. “The proceeds from the sale of this home will bring much needed money and support to kids, as well as raise amazing awareness about Children’s Mercy Hospital. It is important to us to make sure we have a crown jewel at Children’s Mercy to get kids the care they need. The worst thing for parents to hear is their child is ill and they might have to leave the community for care. At Children’s Mercy, we provide care for kids as close to home as Kansas City, and we have locations throughout Kansas and Missouri to bring care to them.”

Summit Homes is dedicated to building exceptional communities and enriching lives, building homes where memories are made, and as an extension of that, they are operating as a conduit to do something positive. This is the first project by Summit Homes to benefit Children’s Mercy, a local nonprofit. For the past seven years, Summit Homes has enjoyed a similar partnership with St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, raising nearly $6 million for the children of St. Jude.

“We changed it up this year and listened to our trade partners and thought, ‘Why not’?” noted Zalman Kohen, President/COO of Summit Homes. “I reached out to Children’s Mercy Hospital to see if there was any interest on their end, and there was. The hospital had dreamed of such an idea before but never had an opportunity to connect with the right builder or partner.”

This home is a hero in and of itself, and some of its super powers rest in the beauty that has come at the hands of everyone who had a part in building it. With 5,437 square feet of living space which includes five bedrooms and an optional sixth bedroom on the lower level, that also features a wet bar, recreation room and entertainment area. The home enjoys a contemporary Farmhouse front elevation, with contrasting dark accents on a white backdrop that offer that modern twist partnered with rustic elegance.

“Whoever ends up purchasing this home will realize it is a home built with the love, joy and pride of the Summit Homes team and trade partners and all that they’ve done for Children’s Mercy Hospital,” reflected Oliver. “When each trade partner and company donate their services, a little bit becomes a lot. We couldn’t do this without the help of the community and partners like Summit Homes.”

Darrell Naeger, Summit Homes’ Director of Design, played a vital role in elevating this home to a magnificent showpiece. From the eight-foot front door opening to a grand foyer, to the spacious great room, library and designer chef’s kitchen with work by Shamrock Cabinets, this unique design offers plenty of personality for the family that will ultimately make memories here.

“I used a light palate of color inside, with shades of white, stone details, and natural details,” said Naeger, who relied on maple, alder, oak and hickory peppered throughout the home for the woods he used. “The old school trim touches paired with clean lines evoke that modern farmhouse look.”

The gorgeous master suite has a generous bathroom, with separate vanities designed to look like pieces of furniture. A black soapstone rests on top, accented by shiplap on the walls. The weathered wood grain porcelain and the spa-like shower add to the ambiance.

Among Naeger’s favorite aspects of the home include the morning/sun room, which is bursting with copious amounts of windows by Builder’s Source to welcome the morning sun.

“I envision drinking coffee and checking e-mail here in the morning,” he noted. “It was a way for the room to bring a bit of the outside indoors. The brick wall acts as a farmhouse accent.”

Over scaled light fixtures by Ferguson add decided personality throughout the home, as do the luxury vinyl planks on the lower level, taking vinyl flooring to the next level with the wood grain tone to inherent to their look thanks to Northcraft. The main level boasts wide-planked Hickory wood floors.

“Summit Homes hopes to sell this home to a family who realizes that yes, they bought a home, but those dollars spent on the house went on to do something greater,” said Kohen. “We are working together to do something no one person is able to do, but collectively we’re able to make a tremendous difference in the lives of so many families, and most importantly, in the lives of so many children.”

For the construction process, the Summit team joined forces with its premier network of trade partners, including Concrete Specialists and McCray Lumber, and other local sponsors to build a zero-cost home.

“With our superhero partners coming together to donate labor, material and services to cover 100% of the cost of the home, Summit is able to give all proceeds from the home’s sale straight to the hospital,” stated Kohen. “We aimed to build a zero-cost home, so we asked our manufacturers, trade partners, vendors and suppliers for 100% of their support in this endeavor, and they agree to do all at zero cost in the home.”

No matter the cost, however, this home is priceless in terms of the love it gives back to all who have been touched by it.


Builder: Summit Homes     |      Development: Reserve at Ravenwood


Builder’s First Source    |    Concrete Specialists    |    Ferguson    |    McCray Lumber    |    Northcraft    |    Shamrock Cabinets


A.D. Construction    |    ABI    |    Arrow Circle    |    Aspen Contracting    |    Kohler    |    Lumber One    |    Premier Surfaces    |    Shaw Flooring Industries    |    United Heating & Cooling


Custom Trim    |    Elite Contractors    |    Generation Brands    |    Hallmark    |    Images of Nature    |    REW Materials    |    Bassett    |    A&M Furnishings


Apex Engineers, Inc.    |    Atlas Roofing    |    Brulez Foundation    |    Complete Home Concepts    |    Hauer Turf    |    Kimbel Mechanical    |    Noble Contracting    |    Pat Cochran Concrete    |    Ray Cochran Concrete    |    Real Best    |    RePaint KC    |    Royal Metal    |    Sherwin-Williams    |    The Hayes Company    |    Tovar    |    Wheeler Lumber


A Cleaner Image    |    ABC Supply    |    Bledsoe Rentals    |    Canyon Stone    |    Dal-Tile Corporation    |    Decks & Basements    |    Emser Tile    |    FAB Electric & Trenching, LLC    |    Finalized    |    Gordon Energy    |    Greatracting Plains Cont    |    Haven    |    High Definition Drywall    |    Integrity Operations    |    Key Distribution    |    Kreimendahl    |    Lime Green Masonry & Concrete    |    Marsh Construction Services    |    Midwest Engineering Solutions    |    Naturally Wired    |    ORI    |    Premier Tile Corporation    |    Randy Davidson Trucking    |    Reliable Mechanical Services, Inc.    |    SpeedPro Imaging    |    Stikwood    |    Sunderland Tile    |    WCA    |    Zimmerman


The Rob Ellerman Team at ReeceNichols

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