April 21, 2009
Carpets newly laid and countertops installed, two families will move into homes in Heber City in the first week of May thanks to Habitat for Humanity of Summit and Wasatch Counties, the nonprofit that builds homes for families in need.
Construction on the 1,200-square-foot homes, which each contain three bedrooms and a bathroom, began last summer.
Since then, 250 volunteers have worked about 2,500 hours to transform the twin lots into houses. The Mair and Baker families worked alongside community members for more than 400 hours each to earn "sweat equity" on their homes, and they will take on mortgages when they move in. The families were chosen based on need and ability. The homes aren’t handouts, says interim executive director Tina Coombs. They’re hand-ups.
"These families just needed a little bit of help," she said Monday.
Habitat for Humanity hosts its annual Casino Night Saturday at the Newpark Hotel. Tables open at 6:30 p.m. and feature black jack, craps and roulette tables manned with real casino dealers. Admission is $35 for one person and $65 for two. Gamers receive $25 in chips, a drink and a chance to win $5,000 in an opportunity drawing. The rock band Bone Yard and a KISS tribute band provide the soundtrack for the evening.
Proceeds will go to break ground on two Habitat homes in Old Town located on the upper corner of Marsac and Ontario Avenues in the summer of 2009, among other projects. The homes will be the first Habitat houses in Park City. The city donated land for the project. Now, it’s the community’s turn to give, Coombs said. The organization wants to enlist volunteers for various projects. "We’re always looking for people to help," Coombs said.
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The completion of the Heber homes will spell the end of Julie Bernhard’s two-year tenure with the organization. Although she announced that she would be stepping down as executive director in the middle of February, Bernhard plans to stay on staff until Heber’s Habitat families move in.
Coombs anticipated that she would serve as the interim director for about two more weeks before a full-time executive director took the reins of the non-profit organization. The Casino Night will set the tone, and raise the funds, for a summer of service.