VAIL - On March 9, 2013 Habitat for Humanity of Eagle and Lake Counties celebrated the organization's mission of bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope at their signature fundraising event, The Carpenters' Ball. The progressive international food and wine tasting allowed attendees to mingle, to try new foods and beverages and to bid on amazing auction items throughout the night. The event also afforded guests the opportunity to experience regions around the globe where Habitat is making a difference offering housing solutions. The event was a success in every way.
"Chef Richard Hinojosa and the entire staff at Larkspur Restaurant have completely out done themselves. By sharing their talents with Habitat for Humanity they allowed us to share a first-class evening with our supporters. We are thrilled with the success of this year's Carpenters' Ball and excited by our guests reaction to the new venue and format," said Elyse Howard, development director at Habitat for Humanity.
The highlight of the event was guest speaker Frances Romero, a Habitat homeowner since 2004. Frances was able to share with the guests how owning her own home has enhanced the lives of her family members. As the proud mother of three sons, Rudy, Ernesto and Ramiro, raising her children has been Frances' primary focus. Knowing this valley was the perfect place to raise her boys, Frances answered an ad for Habitat for Humanity and for the first time, she felt like owning a home as a single mother could became a reality. She wanted a decent place for her children with the things that make a true home - stability, love and a place to create memories.
Building her home was not an easy task. Sometimes she would get off work at 7 a.m. on a Saturday, and go straight to the jobsite to build her house. Through this experience, Frances said she met a lot of loving people and learned the value of just giving without expecting anything in return.
"This has led me to where I am today. After 30 years, I have gone back to school and I am pursing a degree in social work. People ask me why I have chosen a low-income career, and I just laugh. My motivation isn't money. It is to help others in need. But I think people should always follow their heart's intuition. I have a positive internal voice and that voice is never wrong," said Frances.
Frances believes that her whole family has gained from being in a stable home environment. As her boys reach adulthood, she is proud of all their accomplishments. Rudy is now married to a beautiful woman and Frances says so proudly that "he is a smart, responsible father and husband, who has given me a beautiful grandson with another child on the way." Her second son, Ernesto knows the value of a good education and is now in his third semester at Metro College in Denver. He is also working part time to help out with his expenses. Her youngest son, Ramiro, is now in 9th grade and knows that life holds so many opportunities. He is a wonderfully polite young man who is already motivated by what he wants to become in life. Frances is grateful for the motivation their home has brought to her whole family.
Since building her home, Frances has created and managed her own cleaning company and was an integral part of the initial successes of the Habitat ReStore. Frances met and married a wonderful man named Ernesto and her latest adventure takes her back to school for a career in social work to help others.
"Thanks to organizations like Habitat for Humanity, people like me have been able to improve our lives," Frances said. "I know nothing is free in life but I know for sure that there are amazing opportunities, and amazing people in this world. When you ask with a humble heart and you are willing to work hard, you receive."
Kristi Moon is the PR and marketing director for Habitat for Humanity. For more information or to donate or volunteer visit www.HabitatVailValley.org.