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posted: 8/29/2013 4:10 PM

Four suburban finalists chosen for free roof contest

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A Mount Prospect family-owned roofing company looking for a deserving homeowner for a free roof has narrowed its search down to four finalists.

Peterson Roofing Inc. launched the free-roof contest, part of the national "No Roof Left Behind" campaign, earlier this year. The company opened the contest to all residents of Cook County, but company officials said the finalists would be people with a genuine need who've made unique contributions to their communities.

The finalists are as follows:

• Janet Carinato of Des Plaines -- a single mother of three children who works three jobs to make ends meet. Her current roof leaks in several places and some shingles are being held together by tar.

• Marianne Pajak of Des Plaines -- a widow working to pay off her house. According to her nomination, the shingles on her roof today are curled and when it rains water leaks into the walls and ceilings.

• Jeffrey and Jenifer Hamilton of Hanover Park -- A couple in the U.S. Air Force trying to fix a roof that's leaking and has "mold growing everywhere," according to their nomination.

• Scott and Heather Thornton of Palatine -- A couple known for performing acts of service and kindness for others in their neighborhood and beyond. Heather works with special needs students and Scott is the first helping with basement flooding, water heaters or furnace problems, according to their nomination.

The public can find out more about the finalists and vote for a favorite by going to the contest website,

"We are so excited about all the deserving nominees we've had this year, but it made selecting the finalists that much more difficult," Peterson Roofing Vice President Jim Peterson Jr. said. "The stories really tugged at our heartstrings."

Voting will continue until Sept. 6. The winner will be announced on Sept. 9. Peterson Roofing officials say the free roof, valued between $7,000 and $12,000, will be finished this fall.

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