Habitat for Humanity Vail Valley raises more than $700,000 at Carpenters’ Ball
Community comes together in celebration of partnerships and homeownership
Special to the Daily
Being part of a community provides opportunity, safety, security, and it allows us to be part of something greater. The sense of community was evident Saturday, March 12, at Habitat for Humanity Vail Valley’s Carpenters’ Ball when 400 Habitat Vail Valley supporters celebrated home, embraced leaning on friends and family in times of crisis all underscored by the importance of having a safe and healthy home.
For the first time in two years, the Carpenters’ Ball returned to celebrate partnerships and raise funds to increase affordable homeownership opportunities in Eagle County. After the hiatus, friends, partners and sponsors were excited to be back together, greeting each other warmly and with fanfare.
After the lively cocktail party, partygoers filtered to dinner, where Cantor Michelle Cohn Levy captured the essence of hope and home with the opening prayer — ending with a stunning rendition of Bon Jovi’s “Who Says You Can’t Go Home.”
Habitat Vail Valley’s Board President Kristin Kenney Williams memorialized friend, board member and Beaver Creek VP of Operations Gary Shimanowitz, and reminded the Habitat family to live each day in joy and gratitude, and to lean on each other. Community is so important, she added, giving us a place to be, to grieve and to hope.
“Our passion at Habitat Vail Valley is working really hard every day to build homes that our workforce families can own. A family is wherever their home is — but that home needs to be safe and comfortable and healthy,” Kenney Williams said.
Power of partnerships
Habitat Vail Valley and Habitat families rely on the strength of partnerships — Eagle County Schools (ECS), Eagle County Government, many businesses and experts. Imagine living in an RV without running water with two children under the age of four. This family shared their emotional story, expressing such gratitude they were able to qualify for a Habitat home thanks in part to being employed by Eagle County Schools.
Eagle County Schools’ momentum on its Housing Master Plan continues. In 2020-21, 12 families moved into their homes on Grace Avenue on land that was donated by the district.
Home ownership is transformational. As housing prices continue to escalate and housing remains scarce, Habitat Vail Valley is committed to advocating and building. Last year Habitat broke ground on its 100th house, ensuring more than 300 children have a safe place to come home to. Creating affordable homeownership opportunities is a key solution to improving the cost of living for the local workforce.
The Carpenters’ Ball goal was to raise the funds to complete the entitlement process and begin infrastructure work on 16 homes on Third Street. Every donation up to $200,000 was matched by Eagle County government. The room came together to make the most of the matching grant, raising more than $700,000. These funds will allow Habitat Vail Valley to begin infrastructure work and break ground on 16 additional homes on Third Street in Eagle on a parcel donated by Eagle County Schools and with priority for educators.