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Habitat for Humanity fundraiser is Oct. 20


Fifth annual dinner-auction to raise funds for 2 Habitat houses in 2008



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October 17, 2007
IMLAY CITY — Since Lapeer County Habitat for Humanity became the 87th and last chapter to become an affiliate member in Michigan in 2002, Habitat volunteers and supporters have been making up for lost time.

The organization has completed three houses in the past three years: the first in Columbiaville in 2004; and at sites in North Branch in 2005 and Lapeer in 2006.

Volunteers are taking a building hiatus in 2007, while raising money for the construction of two more Habitat houses in 2008.

With that goal in mind, Lapeer County Habitat for Humanity will mark its Fifth Annual Dinner & Auction on Sat., Oct. 20, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Countryside Banquet Center, 596 S. Cedar St. (M-53) in Imlay City.

Proceeds from the event will be used for the construction of new Habitat houses in Clifford and Elba Township next year.

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Volunteers from Lapeer County’s Habitat For Humanity hoist another wall during construction of one of its recently built homes. A fundraiser to support the cause is slated for Saturday in Imlay City.

Lapeer Habitat for Humanity Board member and event co-chair Margaret Schlaud said the two properties were recently purchased in tax sales.

"It's too late in the season to build this year—based on a 12-week build period," she said, "so we'll start construction at one of the two new sites in the spring of 2008."

Schlaud said the cost of building a Habitat house averages about $60,000, most of which covers the expense of lumber, electrical and plumbing supplies and other needed materials. Much of the labor is donated.

"We are very fortunate that we have a lot of generous construction experts who are willing to donate their services," said Schlaud. "We're also excited to have three Gold Sponsors this year, each of whom donated a minimum of $1,000." They include Lapeer County Bank & Trust, Comerica Bank and Independent Bank.

"All donations are appreciated—large or small," Schlaud pointed out. "They all help. A donation of just $5 pays for a box of nails, $100 can purchase a door and $200 can buy a window for a Habitat house."

Schlaud stressed that the Oct. 20 dinner and auction is particularly important to the future construction of Habitat houses. The homes are constructed for Lapeer County residents who can contribute to the construction process but otherwise would not be able to purchase a home.

"This is our largest fundraiser of the year, and we encourage everyone who supports Habitat to come out and join us," she said. "We still need a lot of funds."

In addition to a dinner hosted by Joe and Diana Romine of Countryside Banquet Center, a long list of donated items will be up for bids during the auction.

Some of the items include dinner and entertainment packages, art works, gift baskets, a stay at the new River Inn in Lapeer, airplane rides and much more.

One of the larger items going up for bids is a 50-person wine and cheese tasting party, donated by Jeff and Suzanne Johnson of Gem & Diamond Specialists in Imlay City.

Others donating services for the evening are vocalist-keyboardist Ray Champion, who provides the entertainment and auctioneer Joe Nolan. Volunteers will also be donating homemade desserts for the occasion.

"Imlay City has always been very supportive of Habitat," said Schlaud. "Joe and Diana (Romine) do a fantastic job for us. They are so generous to this organization."

Schlaud said tickets to the event are $25 per person, with a few still likely to be available at the door. Tickets can be purchased at Kempf's Imlay City Florist, any of the participating banks or at the Lapeer County Habitat for Humanity Web site at:

lapeerhabitat.org.

Anyone who cannot attend but would like to make a donation to Lapeer Habitat for Humanity, may mail them to: 1559 Imlay City Rd., Lapeer, MI 48444. For more information, call Lapeer County Habitat for Humanity at 810-664-7111.

Staff Writer
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