Mississippi woman says winning $450,000 house is ‘blessing’ beyond her dreams

Published 9:00 am Saturday, December 26, 2020

When Mary Greer finally laid eyes on it, the 2020 St. Jude Dream Home was beyond anything she could have expected.
“Well, this is my Christmas present,” Greer said.

The 2020 Tupelo St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway winner toured the home with husband, Henry Greer, and relatives Mary Smart and Russell Smart Sr.

The dream home, located in Dunbarton Oaks and built by Legacy Construction, features an estimated 3,100 square feet and is valued at approximately $450,000. The house has four bedrooms, three-and-a-half bathrooms, a full guest suite upstairs and a master suite with spa-like bathtub, standalone shower and a double walk entry walk-in closet.

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As they toured the sprawling home, the family admired details such as a fireplace that was visible both inside and outside, archways, a three-car garage with a washer and dryer, an open chef’s kitchen with a large center island and walk-in pantry, and stairs that light up as they walk upstairs.

“You couldn’t ask for a better looking house, and a good location and everything,” Greer said.

She told her husband how they “would get lost in (their) own house” if they lived there. Later, as she was admiring the kitchen’s dishwasher, she jokingly told her husband that he “won’t have to wash dishes no more.”

“All I can say is thank the Lord for everything, because it’s a blessing,” she said.

In many ways, winning the home felt like a dream for the Greers. The retired AT&T communications technician was born and raised in Shuqualak, a tiny town in Noxubee County with a population of fewer than 500 people. Greer said the house was “outrageously beautiful,” but was happiest about the number of children who were helped by the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway and the various fundraisers around it.

“They need the help, and I’m so glad they got it,” Greer said. “It’s just like a Christmas present for the children at St. Jude and us.”

Mark Simpson, owner of Legacy Construction, said this was the fourth dream home his company has completed. It took almost seven months to build the house, with COVID-19 slowing down the time it took to get materials.

“This year, with everything going on, it was a little tougher than the past years, but I always think that tough to me and tough to my family is not really tough to what the families at St. Jude are going through,” Simpson said.

However, the community still came together to complete the house for St. Jude, Simpson said. Each St. Jude home is largely built with donated labor and materials. This year was no different, even with the pandemic.

The St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway, one of the largest single-event fundraisers for the Memphis-based St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, raises proceeds to ensure families never receive bills from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food.
To date, the Tupelo market has raised over $7 million for St. Jude.

“To be able to raise (money) for St. Jude is always, that kind of outweighs the headaches of construction,” Simpson said.
Greer said she was thankful for the work Simpson and his team did to build the home. She plans to go back home and talk with her family about what they will do with the home.

Whatever happens to the house, its current owner hopes the St. Jude Dream Giveaway can continue to help St. Jude with its mission.