Clubs and Organizations
May 18, 2017
Exciting, empowering and inspirational are just a few of the descriptions WOMEN BUILD 2017 participants shared as they left their comfort zone, donned pink hard hats, t-shirts and construction gloves for WOMEN BUILD 2017 by Habitat of Humanity of South Palm Beach County (HFHSPBC). After exceeding the collective fundraising goal of $100,000 to underwrite the cost of construction materials, more than 150 women builders came out in six shifts over three days to wield hammers, saw plywood, lift roof trusses, paint picnic tables, assemble benches and more to create two "Homes That Women Built" in Boynton Beach for two hard-working, low income families.
In addition to the monies raised by the Women Builders, more than $50,000 was donated
in-kind to support this year's build event. These include a fun-filled kick-off celebration hosted by Sklar Furnishings, abundant "Pink Hard Hat Hospitality Tent" catering by Palm Beach Bagel, The Pig Sty (BBQ) and Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza-Delray Beach and culminating with a Sisterhood of the Pink Hard Hat Celebration reception hosted by Oceans 234. In addition, each woman builder also received a $100 gift card to the beachside Oceans 234 as a
thank you for reaching or exceeding their personal goal of $1,000.
Led onsite by Honorary ChairWoman Susan Haynie who also currently serves as the woman Mayor of the City of Boca Raton, President of the League of Cities and a certified general contractor, the women builders hailed from a diverse cross-section of industries. These included elected officials and civic leaders such as Florida State Representative Emily Slosberg and Boca Raton Councilwomen Andrea O'Rourke; business owners and executives in banking and financial services, healthcare, real estate, home design, retail, restaurants, business organizations and associations, nonprofits and foundations, public relations and marketing firms, media, construction, space and city planning, property management, IT, higher education, human resources, law and accounting firms and churches and synagogues.
"I have never seen such a sea of pink with exhilarating women leadership power running consistently over three full consecutive days on a construction site," noted Susan Haynie. "This distinctive women-only inaugural 'fun and roof' raiser is now on the charity season map as a must-do! First hearing the homeowner stories and then working alongside them was not just inspiring but transformational as well."
The two homes, with presenting sponsors Broken Sound Club and Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company, are being built for:
â— Job and Marie Paul/St-Cyr who have three children, two sons Jonathan, age10, and Joshua, age 9, and a daughter Jodemaelle, age 7, who was born with high-functioning Down Syndrome. This will be the first backyard they have ever had. Job works in road maintenance at Jorgensen Associates and also for Sunshine Towing as a road ranger. Marie is certified nursing assistant and home health aid with ACTS Retirement Communities in Boca Raton who is pursuing an RN degree.
â— Luckner and Ketny Callixte whose daughter Nesca, age 8, is a third grader at Pulmosa School of the Arts in Delray Beach. Luckner, who worked to pay for his schooling to receive education in Haiti, first built his mother a safe, secure home there before he moved to the United States in 2006. He does maintenance for Carousel Development and Restoration; Ketny, his wife is a housekeeper at Glen Eagles Country Club for over 11 years.
Build shifts began with a ceremony led by women spiritual leaders, including Reverend
Ms. Harris Riordan of Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Boca Raton; Leslie Glickman, Yoga Journey; Maha Alhalabi, Islamic Center of Boca Raton; Rabbi Jessica Spitalnic Brockman, Temple Beth El, Boca Raton and Pastor Sandra Willis, National Church of God who is a Habitat for Humanity homeowner for 20 years who has paid off her mortgage.
Following welcome remarks by Honorary ChairWoman Boca Raton Mayor Haynie, Boynton Beach Mayor Steven B. Grant and Florida State Representative Emily Slosberg who served HFHSPBC as a previous Americorp volunteer and Home Services Committee Member, trained Habitat professionals conducted a construction safety briefing before women entered the construction zone. At the Lowes Skills Tent, women builders got to practice their skills at various stations and paint picnic tables and construct benches.
"While WOMEN BUILD is a national Habitat women volunteer initiative each year held during the days leading up to Mother's Day, our South Palm Beach County event is a mission-based 'House That Women Built' fundraiser," noted HBHSPBC Chief Development Officer Kari Oeltjen. "By creating an empowering, hands-on, 'out of one's comfort zone' experience, donors understand exactly where their dollars are going and how Habitat gives 'a hand up, not a hand out' to hardworking families who work to achieve the American Dream of homeownership."
HFHSPBC CEO Randy Nobles concurred. "Our affiliate plans to have a few more signature events like this one, so that we can grow and engage new financial supporters and volunteers as well as invigorate our current base in a hands-on way."
To participate in the on-site build days, each woman builder committed to raising or giving $1,000 via the designated HFHSPBC Woman Build campaign website. Once registered, participants created their own fundraising page. If someone cannot commit to being a Builder, they can easily support a woman builder or a team featured on the dedicated fund site.
Headquartered at 181 S.E. Fifth Ave., Delray Beach, the HFHSPBC nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization brings people together to build homes, community and hope in the cities of Boca Raton, Delray Beach and Boynton Beach, Florida. The nonprofit depends upon volunteer labor and tax-deductible donations of money, materials, services and property to fulfill its mission.
To learn more about year 'round home build sponsorships and events such as WOMEN BUILD, contact Kari Oeltjen, HFHSPBC Chief Development Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org or (561) 819-6070. To learn more about HFHSPBC and its home dedications, events and activities, volunteer opportunities as well as donating to or shopping its home Improvement center thrift shop ReStores in East and West Boca Raton and Delray Beach, visit www.habitatsouthpalmbeach.org.