Habitat for Humanity announces fun fundraising event, raffle

What could be better in spring than watching the beautiful 3-year-old thoroughbreds at the Kentucky Derby?

For those in Chautauqua County viewing it live on TV while helping families might be as much fun.

“Many of us watch the Derby at home and some of us would love to celebrate at Churchill Downs, so let’s bring a party here,” said Martha Boutet, fundraising chairperson.

A Jazzy Derby Party will be held on May 3 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Samuel Cimino VFW Post, North Main Street, Silver Creek. The SUNY Fredonia Latin Jazz Ensemble will perform live music.

A Southern/Southwestern barbecue meal prepared by Chef Matt Brunner will be served amid the derby decor of red roses and golden horseshoes. A cash bar featuring mint juleps and a variety of beverages will be available for purchase. Guests are encouraged to wear derby attire, especially colorfully decorated hats. It’s all part of a new fundraiser to benefit the North County Chautauqua Area Habitat for Humanity.

Tickets to the Jazzy Derby Party are $20 each and will be available presale only. The maximum capacity is 120 people, so early ticket purchases are advisable. Tickets are currently on sale and can be reserved by calling Boutet at 934-2691 or 410-0793, or Mary Fran O’Connell at 560-2000.

This event will also feature the drawing of prize winners for the “Run for the Roses Raffle.” Habitat volunteers are also selling raffle tickets that are three for $5. Ticket holders need not be present to win. Prizes include a 40-inch Samsung flat-screen TV, a Weber grill donated by National Fuel Gas, a large head golf club driver, and a walking golf cart.

Funds raised from the raffle and the Jazzy Derby Party will be used to defray a fee that is attached to the mortgage of the next Habitat homeowner, Holly Salisbury. The house, currently under construction, is located at 24 Knight St., Silver Creek. Six percent of the house sale price fee is collected to cover the cost of maintaining and servicing the zero percent mortgage over the period of the 20-year loan. North County Habitat always tries to raise the funds needed to defray the 6 percent fee so that the family does not have this amount included in their mortgage. If more than 6 percent is raised, the extra funds will be set aside and used for the next family’s mortgage.

As the family partner, Salisbury will invest at least 250 hours of ‘sweat equity’ into the house. Her family and friends can contribute their help and assist with her endeavor. Salisbury and her three daughters expect to move into their completed house sometime during the fall of this year.

The vision of Habitat for Humanity is “a world where everyone has a decent place to live.” Habitat believes that an adequate, safe and decent house can help stabilize a family’s life. The opportunities of home ownership better provide for a family’s current and future needs and in turn help break the cycle of poverty.

Chautauqua Area Habitat for Humanity has three satellites – North County in the Silver Creek area, Mid County in Mayville and South County in Jamestown. The North County satellite was started in 2007 and has completed three homes in Silver Creek. Volunteers in Mayville are building a similar energy-efficient home for the Bottomley family at 7 Patterson St. A third home is being renovated at 23 Tew St., Jamestown for a yet-to-be announced family.

Each satellite continues to seek volunteers to assist with all aspects of construction, community outreach and family support. If you are interested in helping working families obtain decent, affordable housing, contact Dave or Marilyn Kurzawa at 934-9543.

To help raise funds and have fun, join Habitat at The Derby Party on May 3 and cheer on the horses with other volunteers and community members. It’s a ‘win-win’ for everyone involved!