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Mooresville attorney cooking up a storm for Habitat

Mooresville attorney Ben Thomas will don his apron and chef’s hat this Sunday to support affordable housing in the Lake Norman area. Thomas is competing in the “Lake Norman Men That Cook” event to raise funds for Our Towns Habitat for Humanity.

He will be cooking up his signature crawfish étouffée—a dish he perfected during his law school days at Louisiana State University. Thomas and his sous chef, Mike Godley, will compete with more than a dozen other teams, all vying to be named King of the Grill.

This fundraising event is organized by the Huntersville Happy Hour Rotary Club to benefit more than 30 different nonprofit organizations. Event attendees vote for the dish of their choice with their ticket, and proceeds from that ticket benefit the team’s chosen nonprofit.

Thomas chose Our Towns Habitat because it is a cause near and dear to his family—he and his wife Angela actually met through a Habitat volunteer meeting. Watching families open the doors to a new home they helped build is an unforgettable experience, Thomas says.

Thomas and his law partners at Thomas, Godley & Grimes are thrilled to be sponsoring their first Habitat home this summer. Construction for the home begins in Mooresville this June.

The event will take place noon-3 p.m. March 25 at Langtree Plantation in Mooresville. Advance tickets for Lake Norman Men That Cook are $10. Visit the Lake Norman Men That Cook website for more information.

Habitat ReStore opening in Statesville April 13

If you’ve been anxiously waiting for our new Habitat ReStore in Statesville to open, we have good news—your wait is almost over! Our Grand Opening date has officially been set for April 13. We hope you’ll join us for the celebration!

A ribbon cutting ceremony at 9 a.m. will mark the store’s official opening to the public. But, VIP Club cardholders will get a chance to “sneak” in early, during a VIP preview hour from 8-9 a.m.

Our VIP Club offers customers a 5% discount every day on most items, plus 10% off on the first Tuesday of every month, for a one-time membership fee of $5. As a thank you to the community of Statesville, the first 100 shoppers to visit during our Grand Opening will receive a FREE VIP membership. This offer is valid only for non-VIP cardholders, with a limit of one card for adult shopper. No purchase is necessary.

Also throughout the day of the Grand Opening, we’ll be giving away customer appreciation door prizes, including upcycled ReStore merchandise, creatively designed by ReStore volunteers.

The new Statesville ReStore is located at 1885 E. Broad Street, next to Planet Fitness in the Bi-Lo shopping center, offering new and gently used furniture, appliances, home décor and home improvement items. Store proceeds benefit Our Towns Habitat for Humanity’s affordable housing programs in Iredell and North Mecklenburg counties, including home ownership and critical repairs.

Hours will be Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Donations may be dropped off during those same hours after store opening. Prior to opening, donations may be dropped off beginning April 2, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. We ask customers to please respect the other tenants in the shopping plaza by not making drop offs after hours.

Volunteers are needed to help set up and merchandise the store prior to opening, as well as to help with store operations after opening. Interested volunteers can complete our online inquiry form to learn more.

Habitat home is helping Bill rebuild after stroke

Habitat home dedications are always emotional events. It’s not uncommon for homeowners to find themselves at a loss for words when they stand at the podium to thank those who made their home possible.

But for our newest homeowner Bill, finding the right words is a daily struggle.

Five years ago, Bill suffered a major stroke. He actually “died” for two minutes on the way to the hospital, before he was revived by ER doctors. The stroke left him unable walk, talk or drive, and he spent three months in the hospital rehabbing. It also left him in financial ruin.

Slowly, Bill’s words came back. First in Italian—his native tongue—then in Spanish, which he learned at age 5, when his family moved from Venice to Mexico. The last words to come back to Bill were in English—the language his four children all speak.

English continues to be challenging for Bill. He still has some speech impairment from the physical damage the stroke inflicted. The stroke also affected the language center of his brain, so he finds himself struggling to find the right words. His young son Eros tends to readily step in and prompt him with the right word.

But if you take the time to listen to Bill—to wait for him to find those elusive words—you will find he has a lot to say. He will tell you that for everything his stroke took away from him, it gave him something back.

It took away a lucrative, high-powered executive career, but gave him a slower way of life, with more focus on the people he cares about.

It took away a focus on money and material things, but gave him a focus on service and gratitude.

It took away the four large homes he once owned, but gave him his Habitat house—a home that Bill calls his “favorite.” Bill knows every inch of this home, because he helped build it with his own hands, and that makes it special.

Before the build, he and Eros carefully selected all the options for this house—they picked dark wood finishes because they want to create the feel of a cabin. They’ve already hand-painted furniture to make the look complete.

And now, Bill and Eros can finally move into their dream home—their own little “cabin”—thanks to Bill’s hard work and the dedication and support of our many volunteers and donors.

Our Towns Habitat + Habitat Charlotte

Growing strong together & creating a more powerful force for affordable housing.