This is the sixthyear for the Grand Island Area Habitat's Build a Dream Dinner and Auction. Friday evening, leaders were hoping acommunity that's already supported the construction of other dream homes willhelp them finish two more.
Hundreds of peopleand dozens of items in live and silent auctions have helped Habitat reach theirdollar goals before, and this build season's goal is bigger than ever.
"Ourgoal for this event is to raise about $40,000. Construction on one home is generally about $64,000," says Dana Jelinek,Executive Director of GI Area Habitat for Humanity.
Themoney will go right into projects already underway – two homes that will bebuilt in northeastern GI where an existing older home was burned down andcleared away last weekend.
"Thetwo homes that we're going to be building are actually a little bit largerbecause they are larger families, so if we make some more money on this thatwould be extra special," says Jelinek.
Habitat'sBoard President Jeremy Reimers says none of their work could be done withoutthe community at the Build a Dream event, as well as all year long.
"It'sa great time for everybody to come together and really support our mission andwhat we do at Habitat," says Reimers. "We'rejust so very grateful for all of our volunteers, all of our donors, andeverybody who's here tonight."
Jelineksays bidders at Build a Dream are key, but donors make the fundraiser happen.
"Ourbig item is the heating and air unit from Jerry's Sheet Metal, they participateevery year and will also be participating in our Home Builders Blitz," shesays.
TheBlitz is a week-long nearly start-to-finish build of one home. The event brings in contractors andconstruction crews alongside volunteers.
Withall of that just around the corner, Habitat leaders say it's time for everyoneto dust off their gloves and work clothes.
"Ifanybody's available, we'd be more than happy to have them come out – swing ahammer, lay sod, we have all kinds of jobs for anybody – even if you don't haveany construction experience, we'd love to have you out on the job site," saysReimers.
Thoughit's main construction will start later, the Blitz home will be finishedfirst. Both homes – numbers 76 and 77for GI Area Habitat – should have their families settling in them by July.