The outcome was pretty clear all along.
After nearly a month of public voting online, Heather and Scott Thornton of Palatine were announced this week as the winners of a free roof from Peterson Roofing Inc. of Mount Prospect. Peterson Roofing launched the free-roof contest earlier this year as part of the national No Roof Left Behind campaign.
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"We're very happy with how it went," company Vice President Jim Peterson Jr. said. "Friends and neighbors really rallied around the Thorntons. They led all the way. And we couldn't be happier, because they're a very deserving family."
Peterson Roofing plans to begin the installation project on Oct. 12. A small party will be held at the Thorntons' house to celebrate.
The family-owned roofing company decided to hold the contest this year as a way to give back to the suburban Cook County area that has supported it. The contest was open to any resident of the county, but company officials were looking for people or families who have contributed in some way to their communities. The company selected four finalists from the nominees received, and then let the public cast votes for the winner.
Heather Thornton is a teacher who works with students who have special needs, company officials said. Scott Thornton works a number of temporary jobs, but neighbors said he always makes time to help people in his neighborhood with flooded basements or dead car batteries. Their son is currently serving in the U.S. Marines. The Thorntons could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Peterson said this first free-roof program has been such a success that the company plans to do at least one each year going forward.