“These houses don’t fill themselves,” Stott said.
Johnson said her board, which includes current occupants of other ACT homes in Andover, had a hard time deciding who to choose from among the six applicants.
The pool was narrowed down to two families, and they were so close that the board decided to have a next-door neighbor on Andover Street pull the winning name out of a hat.
“You were the lucky ones,” she told the Morales family as she handed them a huge, gold key.
Vonne Morales said the couple was “shocked” when they found out they got the house.
“I get emotional when I talk about it,” she said, dabbing her eyes. “I just remember getting down on my knees and thanking God.”
Vonne Morales works part-time in a dentist’s office. Her husband works in manufacturing at Raytheon and also is an assistant wrestling coach at Lawrence High School, helping lead the team to numerous wins in recent years. The couple is active in their church.
Vonne Morales’ mother, Carmen Rivera, said the new house was “perfect” for her daughter’s family because they do so much for others.
“They are perfect together,” she said. “They love their kids. They like to help everybody. They worry about other people, not just themselves. They always give back.”
Pearson, who as an architect designed the three-bedroom home, said the dedication was the completion of years of work by many people, including students from Greater Lawrence Tech, subcontractors and Andover town officials.
“You have joined the Andover community, but you have also joined the Andover Community Trust,” he told the Morales family.
Also in attendance were the owners of some of ACT’s earlier homes, including Raymonda Abouhamad and her daughter, Brooke, who live at the group’s North Street property; Sandra “Sindy” Davila, who lives at 174 River Road; and Kellie Mahoney, who lives at the Cheever Circle house. Abouhamad and Davila are now members of the ACT board.