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Volunteers help out slain bus driver's widow

July 8, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A major home makeover operation began in Fontana Thursday, where dozens of volunteers are fixing up the home of a bus driver who was stabbed to death on the job.Home Depot volunteers pitched in to make the improvements Larry Kester planned.

"It amazes me that so many people would just come out and do that to be helpful like that," said Misty Kester, Larry Kester's widow.

More than three dozen Home Depot employees volunteered their time to help out a neighbor Thursday.

It was nearly two months ago that Larry Kester was stabbed to death while driving his Omnitrans bus in Rialto. The 47-year-old father of eight was stabbed by a passenger who was later arrested and charged with the murder.

The Kesters had planned to make some improvements on their home, and neighbors asked around for some help for Misty. Some of them happen to work for the home improvement store.

"Every single employee that's on this grass here, none of them are getting paid, this is all on their own time," said Debra Ponsford, a Home Depot employee. "But that's just the kind of people we have with our company -- they give back."

Among the improvements: a new lawn that will be watered by a new sprinkler system that's being put in, along with kitchen cabinets and appliances, new carpeting, some paint. A play area for Kester's children will be put in.

"We brought together 11 stores throughout the Inland Empire that have been able to come out and alleviate some of the stress, and just seeing the excitement from her kids and really giving her the opportunity to smile after the stress that she's been through," said volunteer Ken Ziniti.

The price tag for all the work to be done is between $10,000 to $15,000, but when you talk to the widow, what's being done here is absolutely priceless.

"It's exciting and it's just, you know, a new beginning," said Misty. "It will help us go forward even though it's kind of hard. But it will just make it easier."

It will take a few days to finish all of this work.


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