A Habitat for charity | VailDaily.com

A Habitat for charity

Carolyn Pope
Special to the Daily

Habitat for Humanity is one of the most recognizable names in charities. It’s one of those organizations that has “feel good” written all over it ” and for good reason.

Even when you have the means and the know-how, buying a home isn’t an easy feat in an area where real estate is, well, a little more expensive than Omaha.

The mission of Habitat for Humanity is to build simple, decent and affordable homes in partnership with those who need shelter. And swinging a hammer, supplying sodas for the workers or putting up the money for the paint ” all to give a deserving family a home ” gives more warm and fuzzy feelings than a golden retriever puppy.

Habitat for Humanity of Eagle and Lake Counties was formed in 1995 and, with over 1,000 volunteers, has helped build eight homes for families in need, housing 26 children and their parents.

Nationally, Habitat has built more than 50,000 houses with families throughout the United States and another 100,000-plus houses in communities around the world. Now at work in 92 countries, houses are being built at the rate of one every 26 minutes. By 2005, Habitat houses will be sheltering 1 million people.

Homeowner families are chosen according to their need, their ability to repay the no-profit, no-interest mortgage and their willingness to work in partnership with Habitat.

In the fall of 2003, construction on a ninth began in Eagle, the first since 1996. It was made possible by the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District, who donated the land under a special partnership agreement.

And now, an agreement has been reached with Masthead Development in Avon for the purchase of sites at the Bluffs in Eagle for up to eight homes. Two will be started this summer as well as an additional home in Leadville on two lots given by Ralph Kettenbeil.

Of course, more than sweat and hard work builds homes ” money is needed as well. At the Carpenter’s Ball, held March 13 at the Park Hyatt in Beaver Creek, over 400 people raised their glasses to the work of Habitat.

Teri LeBeau and Terry Cohen spearheaded organization of the annual event, with the help of many others, including Janie Helling, who set up the live auction. Later in the evening, she sold off her hot pink boa to Tom Korchowsky ” that’s dedication!

In addition to the silent auction, nine items were auctioned off, including a beaver fur vest donated by Designer Furs, a gourmet Vietnamese dinner for 10 and a week in Cabo San Lucas.

After the auction, nary a voice on the mike was heard… until the Don Watson Band kicked into gear.

Spotted at the event: board president Jean Klein, Kathy and Vince Cook, Sue and Dan Godec, and Dianne Shearer.

For more information on the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity, call 970-748-6718.

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