Community chips in to benefit Cook family | SierraSun.com
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Community chips in to benefit Cook family

DARIN OLDE, Sierra Sun

Long-time Tahoe residents are kind to their neighbors and friends – the Cook family is proof.

Tahoe-Truckee community members and businesses are cooperating on the construction of a home in Tahoe Donner to sell as a benefit for the widow of Doug Cook and her two boys.

Tricia Cook lost her husband Doug in a motorcycle accident at Thunderhill Raceway in Willows, Calif. on Oct. 24, 1999.

Doug was a contractor who had been building in the area for approximately 20 years. He was born in the Sierra Nevada about 42 years ago.

The two met when Tricia was still an undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley. She was visiting the Tahoe area to ski when she met Doug. Eventually she decided the lifestyle was how she wanted to live.

He and Tricia wed in 1986. Only a year later the two had their first child, Troy, and a second child, Matthew, three years later. Both boys race for Alpine Meadows Ski Area’s junior freestyle team.

“The kids enjoy living here. They visit their cousins at the beach and they enjoy that, but they’re mountain boys through and through,” Tricia said.

Two of Doug’s four brothers live in Tahoe, along with his father and his wife Diane. Tricia’s brother lives in Los Angeles and her sisters live in the Bay, each with spouses and children.

Tricia said her parents were supportive, and that they were really amazed and gratified at what is going on up here.

“My heart went out to her family,” said Kurt Engel of Engel Construction.

“I had the resources to finance it, and to build (the house) as a fund-raiser. Every dime I can get out of this house I will give to the family.”

In small mountain towns word of an event to help a bereaved family spreads quick.

Ben Moule from Truckee River Glass donated all the windows, mirrors and shower doors; Chuck Smith from Tahoe Truckee Supply Inc. donated the underground sewer pipes, sinks, the hot water heater and plumbing infrastructure; Keith McCauley from Sittre Excavation and Snow Removal donated trucking and materials. Nev-Cal, Shaffer Paving Inc. and many others contributed to the project until the whole thing came together.

The project broke ground at the lot Doug wanted and the community started building this September. Framing the house is almost complete.

“The boys are excited about the house; they are out here helping,” Tricia said from the house in Tahoe Donner last Friday. Tricia has been helping also. She has been at the house every day since the project started.

“The boys are coping about losing their Dad. We have complete breakdowns every now and again. But we have tons of pictures.”

Tricia is planning to stay in Tahoe. She wants to use the money from the house to continue building spec houses. When Doug worked construction she used to balance the books, so she is familiar with how the financing works.

Meanwhile she will continue helping with the construction of the house, as will the boys – except, of course, when they have to train for skiing.

“The boys’ friends and their families have been great,” Tricia said. “We will stay up here. I think it’s what Doug would have wanted me to do. I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.”


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