National foundation building house for former SPD Officer Mark Priebe
REPUBLIC, Mo. (KY3) - The Gary Sinise Foundation is inviting the Springfield community to come to write encouraging words to former Springfield Police Officer Mark Priebe as they build a new, more accessible smart home for the family.
It’s all thanks to the GSF’s R.I.S.E, or Restoring Independence, Supporting Empowerment, Program, which builds homes for first responders injured in the line of duty that are more accessible for them.
“We build houses all across the country for our most severely wounded, first responders, police officers, whoever’s in need,” said Andy Jahnsen, Senior Project Manager for the R.I.S.E. program.
The public is invited to join Priebe’s family at the home on Tuesday, June 6, to write words on the walls before the foundation finishes building the house.
Jahnsen says he hopes this builds a sense of community.
“Just a sense of community. I mean, obviously, Mark spent a lot of time in the Springfield area a lot of people know about the injury and know about the situation. And it’s just a really a chance for them to come out and see what the Gary Sinise Foundation is doing for them and their family, to give him back a little bit of that independence that was taken away two years ago,” said Jahnsen.
The home will be mortgage-free and should be finished in late 2023, or early 2024. It will have smart features that can control things like lights and electronics from a phone, as well as wider hallways and doorways for Priebe to get through.
“Just going to allow Mark to, to live independent, to be able to come into this home and really, truly live again, when in the current situation, the home that they’ve lived in for, you know, vast part of his career here in the Springfield area is it’s tight,” said Jahnsen.
Former officer Mark Priebe was injured when he was run over by a suspect in 2020, leaving him paralyzed. The new home should help him and his family regain some independence they lost after the accident.
If anyone is interested in signing walls on the home, they can take shuttles from the Calvary Baptist Church in Republic until 8:45 a.m. Tuesday. The event will start shortly after.
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