Habitat for Humanity virtually raises money | VailDaily.com

Habitat for Humanity virtually raises money

Coronavirus causes cancellation of annual gathering

Much to Celebrate, More to Build. This motto still rings true for Habitat for Humanity Vail Valley despite the coronavirus.

Habitat for Humanity’s local chapter was about to celebrate 25 years of serving Eagle and Lake counties by hosting its annual Carpenters’ Ball on March 14, but like most other events, the Carpenters’ Ball was canceled. Staff members decided to take precautions even before the information came from the state and county to cancel gatherings of over 50 people.

The event was set to host over 400 people to the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek and has been a popular fundraiser with locals for the past 21 years. The Carpenters’ Ball is Habitat for Humanity Vail Valley’s largest fundraiser of the year and accounts for 30% of the income that must be generated this year. “All dollars from the event fund the permits, excavation and foundations of the six new homes that will break ground in May,” said Julie Kapala, Of Habitat for Humanity Vail Valley.

During the past 25 years, Habitat for Humanity Vail Valley has built 87 homes throughout six communities and impacted 300 children with the help of 158,635 volunteer hours. Though canceling the signature event was tough, they knew there was more work to be done and started assembling ways to turn a physical event into a virtual one.

“As soon as we knew that canceling the event was a real possibility, we shifted to internal discussions of hosting a virtual event. We found some good examples online from Seattle-based nonprofits that had successfully hosted online events, so we decided to go for it,” Kapala said.

Habitat’s original event was going to consist of a Gift Card Wall, where you could purchase gift certificates right away and not wait until you were the highest bidder.

“We have more than 100 gift certificates to restaurants, retailers, spas and more. Most gift certificates are priced below their value,” Kapala said. Items are available for purchase until March 28th.

The auction committee had gathered it’s coveted “Tool Belt” packages, where multiple goods and services were bundled together such as rounds of golf at area golf clubs and spa treatments at multiple locations. Bidding closes on March 28.

The live auction contains some fantastic experiences like a wine tasting weekend in Napa Valley, California, a wine or whiskey (you choose) dinner pairing for ten. There is also a seven-night stay in a beautiful home in Sea Island, Georgia. Bidding on the live auction items closes on March 21.  

Normally, there is a paddle raise where attendees raise their paddles for various amounts of money at the Carpenter’s Ball. There is a virtual paddle raise on the website and the amount of money raised will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to $100,000 through March 28. Habitat is hoping to raise $200,000 to fund six foundations for all six homes that they are building in 2020.

Another part of the evening is the video featured each year. The video normally showcases a family whose lives have been changed by having a Habitat for Humanity home. This year, Guy Ayrault, founding member and longtime volunteer, was the star of the video for his outstanding dedication to the mission of Habitat for Humanity. Ayrault has worked on all 87 homes that Habitat for Humanity Vail Valley has completed.

“There are a lot of people who are struggling to get by and to have a stable housing situation and Habitat does give them something they really couldn’t find anywhere else,” Ayrault said in the video.

View the video, get a great deal on the gift cards, Toolbelt auction items or treat yourself to one of the live auction items and help support our local chapter of Habitat for Humanity, which is ramping up building capacity to build eight homes (a 33% increase) in 2021.

Despite not being able to host their annual fundraiser in a traditional way, Habitat for Humanity is also looking on the bright side. “One benefit to hosting a virtual event is that we can reach a broader audience,” Kapala said. To donate and follow the progress of this virtual event, go to bit.ly/Virtual-Carpenters-Ball.

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