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Benefit planned for Hobart couple scammed by contractor

Amy Kazen is photographed unfinished upper portiher house Hobart Ind. Tuesday March 26 2013.  Friends Kazen are holding fundraiser

Amy Kazen is photographed in the unfinished upper portion of her house in Hobart, Ind. Tuesday March 26, 2013. Friends of Kazen are holding a fundraiser Thursday at Service Doctor in Merrillville to help after a contractor didn't finish the work to expand her house. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media

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If you go

Benefit for Amy Kazen and Phil Anderson

When: 5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday

Where: Service Doctor/Ucook/Razor’s Edge, 5150 E. U.S. 30, Merrillville

What: Door prizes, silent auction, 50/50, beer, wine, open bar, food prepared by Chef Robb Conn

Cost: Free, but donations appreciated

Information: Call Randy Ralls at (888) 588-5655

Updated: April 28, 2013 6:36AM



HOBART — The elation Amy Kazen and Phil Anderson felt in July 2012 knowing they were expecting another baby and would soon add on to the second floor of their Hobart house quickly turned into despair.

By August, Kazen realized the contractor she paid to raise the top floor to add two rooms would be a problem. Week after week passed and the work wasn’t started, although he had taken their money and removed the roof from their house leaving them exposed to the elements.

In October, on top of dealing with an unfinished house, Kazen lost the baby to a rare disease.

“The baby had no chance,” she said.

She said they put a roof on themselves, but there is no siding or wrapping, and not all of the electricity works.

“We spent $28,000 and all we have is a shingled roof,” Kazen said.

Randy Ralls, who owns Service Doctor in Merrillville, which has two subsidiary companies, Razor’s Edge Salon and Ucook cooking school, has come to the couple’s rescue.

Not only has Ralls set up a benefit for Kazen and Anderson on Thursday night, but he is doing some of the work needed to make their home at least comfortable pro bono.

Ralls said they’ll install the fascia, siding, house wrap and soffits on the top half of the house. He is hoping to use proceeds from the fundraiser to pay for the materials.

He said work will probably start in late April or early May.

Ralls said the city has pitched in to help the couple as well.

“Mayor Brian Snedecor was great. He waived all the building permits with the exception of the mechanical ones, like electrical and HVAC, which are mandated by the state. We’ll save about $500 because of that,” Ralls said.

Ralls said Chef Rob Conn, of Ucook cooking school, will prepare food for the free event.

Lisa Kaffenberger, part-owner of Razor’s Edge, said there are quite a few baskets that will be auctioned off, and some vendors have set up booths to sell products or provide services, with all money raised going back to the couple.

She said all money collected will go through Advancing Christ’s Kingdom Ministries, 1001 W. 37th Ave., Hobart, which has set up an account for the couple.



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