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HARRISON – A hundred-plus people packed the room for the 7th Annual Clare County Habitat for Humanity Pig Roast held Saturday evening at the Harrison Moose Lodge. Attendance even spilled outdoors onto the adjacent deck, as diners were once again presented with a sumptuous buffet of pork grilled to perfection by Habitat’s Scott Losey, along with a bounty of side dishes and desserts provided by Peggy and Hal Losey.
Upon arrival, guests were issued free tickets for door prize drawings which took place throughout the evening, as well as a free opportunity to guess the number of candies in a jar for a chance at one of two prizes.
Habitat Board of Directors members stayed busy selling 50/50 tickets while Valiant Bondie III, emcee for the event, enthusiastically calling out ticket numbers and winning names.
Additional enticements to help Habitat raise money for its efforts included a silent auction for a multitude of items contributed by businesses and individuals. They ranged from a Snowsnake Zipline pass to bedding, wall art to a guided tour of the Capitol in Lansing provided by State Rep. Jason Wentworth, who also supplied a flag which flew over the Capitol Feb. 14 of this year. The expanse of silent auction items filled an entire wall of tables.
There also was a 3-board lottery tree covered in $200 worth of lottery tickets, along with drawings for 18 themed gift baskets. The two 50/50 drawings netted winners a total of $230. The first 50/50 winner used some of her $130 to purchase tickets for the basket drawings and shared them with her tablemates, three of whom won baskets – another example of those who give finding their generosity returning to them.
It is important to note that all elements of the evening were donated by individuals, businesses and Habitat members, with all the event’s proceeds going to help Habitat in its mission to “bring people together to create decent homes in Clare County for those who seek and are in need of better housing.”
Another community-supporting practice of Clare County Habitat for Humanity is the $300 scholarship monies collected within its membership for awarding to an in-county graduating senior whose goal is to study in a building-related field. This year’s recipient was Clare High School graduate Bowen Henry who will be attending Mid Michigan College. He plans to study electrical commercial-residential. This annual scholarship is provided solely through the contributions of Habitat Board of Directors members and the executive director.
“The thing to remember about Habitat is that people think it’s a handout,” Bondie said. “Actually, it’s a hand up. There’s so much involved; we will do what we can to get you into a home. Whether we have to build it or refurbish it.”
He also made it known there is a great deal of opportunity for volunteering with Habitat, from office work to onsite construction, and multiple areas between. Bondie also said that Habitat can even help with low-rate mortgages for those who qualify.
The evening closed with its big finish – the raffle drawing. Those prizes and winners included: $1,000 gift card to the Harrison Do-It Center to David Stark; $250 gift card to Witbeck’s in Clare to Mike Kirby; and a $250 gift card to Family Fare went to Penny L.
Bondie called for a show of hands from those who had been touched in some way by Habitat for Humanity, and nearly a dozen hands shot into the air, accompanied by a round of applause. He then gave credit to all those who had helped the organization.
“Thanks to those who donated their time and money,” he said. “Thank you for supporting Habitat for Humanity.”
He then urged those who had benefitted to keep the cycle going and to give back, as well.
Now that the big fundraising event is complete, residents of the county may want to help keep the momentum going by lending support at the upcoming hot dog sales July 17 and Aug. 8 at Witbeck’s in Clare.
The public is always welcome to lend its support to this service-driven organization. The Habitat Board of Directors meets at 6 p.m. the second Wednesday of the month, with the public welcome at 7 p.m. There are no meetings in July or December.
Mail inquiries to: Habitat for Humanity, 3157 N. Clare Ave., Suite 2, P.O. Box 756, Harrison, MI 48625; call 989-539-2481, fax to 989-630-0331; or visit clarecountyhabitat.org online at www.clarecountyhabitat.org.