16 Curb Appeal Finalist Donna and Ron Grzeskowiak

Someone in Michiana is about to win $5,000 worth of landscaping from Linton's Enchanted Gardens.

This week, we have been sharing the stories of our finalists. Starting at 7 a.m. Thursday, you will be able to vote for your favorite.

But first, Tricia Sloma has the story of a Mishawaka couple who would love to see their front yard in the spotlight again.

Ron and Donna Grzeskowiak have a bare and battered front yard. Eight huge pine trees they had were removed just a few months ago.

"They'd gotten diseased in the last year or two. And it had gotten to the point where I was worried of them falling on the house."

Old pictures show the place in its glory days, when Ron's parents used the trees as a focal point to their landscaping.

"It hurt to see them go because this is the house that my father built that I grew up in. All the memories of decorating those trees year after year with Christmas lights and stuff," said Ron.

Back then, the yard won decorating contests. Today, it's an eyesore.

The Grzeskowiak's have been married one year and are looking on the bright side.

"We were so excited about having sun in the yard for the first time, we actually planted tomatoes in our front yard. And they're doing great!"

Donna entered the 16 Curb Appeal Contest to help solve their landscaping problems, but also to help Ron, who has survived cancer and a heart attack.

"I just can't dig and chop, and dig stumps and do the heavy stuff right now," he said.

Donna would love to learn from the experts at Linton's.

"I do like to work in the yard. I don't have the expertise, that I probably need to do this big of a chore," Donna said.

A chore that would be a labor of love, a tribute to Ron's parents.

"The things that they taught me in life. All the values, and all the wonderful things. That's priceless. Money will never touch those memories," said Ron.


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