GI Habitat Building Dreams with Fundraiser - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

GI Habitat Building Dreams with Fundraiser

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This is the sixth year for the Grand Island Area Habitat's Build a Dream Dinner and Auction.  Friday evening, leaders were hoping a community that's already supported the construction of other dream homes will help them finish two more.

Hundreds of people and dozens of items in live and silent auctions have helped Habitat reach their dollar goals before, and this build season's goal is bigger than ever.

"Our goal 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.

The money will go right into projects already underway – two homes that will be built in northeastern GI where an existing older home was burned down and cleared away last weekend.

"The two homes that we're going to be building are actually a little bit larger because they are larger families, so if we make some more money on this that would be extra special," says Jelinek.

Habitat's Board President Jeremy Reimers says none of their work could be done without the community at the Build a Dream event, as well as all year long.

"It's a great time for everybody to come together and really support our mission and what we do at Habitat," says Reimers.  "We're just so very grateful for all of our volunteers, all of our donors, and everybody who's here tonight."

Jelinek says bidders at Build a Dream are key, but donors make the fundraiser happen.

"Our big item is the heating and air unit from Jerry's Sheet Metal, they participate every year and will also be participating in our Home Builders Blitz," she says.

The Blitz is a week-long nearly start-to-finish build of one home.  The event brings in contractors and construction crews alongside volunteers.

With all of that just around the corner, Habitat leaders say it's time for everyone to dust off their gloves and work clothes.

"If anybody's available, we'd be more than happy to have them come out – swing a hammer, lay sod, we have all kinds of jobs for anybody – even if you don't have any construction experience, we'd love to have you out on the job site," says Reimers.

Though it's main construction will start later, the Blitz home will be finished first.  Both homes – numbers 76 and 77 for GI Area Habitat – should have their families settling in them by July.

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