Hundreds of volunteers who've spent two full days building a new ski lodge at Bottineau Winter Park are back in their hometowns tonight.
They came here to begin construction on a ski lodge that will be accessible to all - including the disabled and wounded warriors - who love to ski.
The lodge is known as Annie's House, in memory of the Stanley, North Dakota woman who was killed in the terrorist attacks of 9-11.
Jim Olson reports on the special way the volunteers finished their weekend of work.
Some of the hundreds of volunteers who had just finished putting up the frame for the new adaptive ski lodge at Bottineau Winter Park gathered on the hill in front of the lodge - trying to spell out "Annie's House" with their bodies, and reflecting on what they'd just accomplished.
(Charlie Vitchers, Volunteer Team Leader) "This is a big job. One of the biggest we've done and one of the most complicated."
Charlie Vitchers is one of the team leaders on the project for New York Says Thank You - the group that coordinates volunteers from around the country - many from disaster areas - in their quest to help others. In this case, Vitchers says it was an honor to begin building a place in honor of Ann Nicole Nelson - Annie - who died in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center 11 years ago.
(Charlie Vitchers, Volunteer Team Leader) "It gives me a lot of pleasure to know I've helped the community out and I've helped Annie Nelson fulfill one of her dreams - to build a house in North Dakota."
Among the jobs finished this weekend by these volunteers - painting signs that will hang in the rafters of the new ski lodge - each one bearing one of the items on Annie's to-do list found on her computer after her death.
(Ben Brosseau, Bottineau Winter Park) ""She had a bucket list with 36 things on it and 37 would have been Annie's House, what we're looking at here. But they made a sign for all the items on her list and that's what's going to hang in the building."
It's one way to see the love that goes into these projects - love for those being helped and remembered - and love for one another in the volunteer group that travels so far and does so much.
(Charlie Vitchers, Volunteer Team Leader) " We have a lot in common even though we're spread out around the country, everybody's got the same goal, and that's to help out the less fortunate than us."
When the work was done late Saturday, the workers held a tool belt ceremony to award tool belts to special members of the group. People like Larrk Koch, who has been part of New York Says Thank You projects for years, until cancer treatments forced him to skip last year's project. Not so for 2012.
(Charlie Vitchers, Volunteer Team Leader) "We want you to take us back home with you and on our next build, you bring this tool belt along and we'll put you to work."
(Larry Koch, Boonville, Indiana Volunteer) "I want to God bless you all. And while I might have missed a chemotherapy session I can tell you that this weekend was pretty good - therapeutic in its own way."
And as the friends old and new sang Amazing Grace, they knew they'd accomplished their goal of honoring one of the victims of the 9-11 attacks with something that will mean much to many people for years to come.
(Charlie Vitchers, Volunteer Team Leader) "I'm sure that Annie's House at the end of the day is going to be the best of the best because it was built by the best of the best."
At Bottineau Winter Park, Jim Olson, KX News.
Hundreds of volunteers traveled across the country to help with the 'New York Says Thank You' project.
But perhaps among the most note able is the group from Mayville, North Dakota.
From the all-access chalet to the two-miles of well maintained trails, all of it was designed with Wounded Warriors and individuals with special needs in mind.
Nine young people from the GST Independent Living Center in Mayville arrived to volunteer on Friday.
Near the lake, a paved ADA-handicap accessible fishing dock was installed and the youth had hands on experience bringing the whole project together.
(Mike Cerkowniak, GST Independent Living Center) "It's an opportunity for them to experience something bigger and something important, to feel a sense of accomplishment that they can take as much ownership of this as anybody else here and it just gives them a sense of being a part of a larger community and finding out what they can actually do and going beyond what they think they can do."
Cerkowniak says the project as a whole is a great asset for the state and the young people he traveled with are looking forward to trying something new.