‘Men That Cook” event to benefit Our Towns Habitat, other local nonprofits

The grills are fired up, the stew pots are out and the mixers stand at the ready–all sure signs that the second annual Huntersville Happy Hour Rotary Club’s  Lake Norman Men That Cook event is just around the corner. Our sweet tooth is already kicking in, and we can’t way to try the cheesecake Rowboat Dock and Dredge is cooking up to support Our Towns Habitat for Humanity.

Here’s how this fun and delicious event works–your ticket ($10 in advance) lets you sample some of the best home cooking that Lake Norman area men have to offer. Then vote for your favorite dish to support that nonprofit (Our Towns Habitat and Rowboat Dock and Dredge, of course!).

Cooking on behalf of Rowboat Dock & Dredge will be Greg Harrison, project manager, assisted by business owner and longtime Habitat supporter Bob Wilson. Bob directed Jimmy Carter Work Projects for Habitat for Humanity International in the 1980s, helping raise awareness of Habitat’s global work. He is currently a member of Habitat for Humanity of North Carolina and a former member of Our Towns Habitat’s board.

If your mouth, like ours, is already watering, we hope you’ll come out and join us–and don’t forget to vote for cheesecake!

Here are the event details you’ll need:

Lake Norman Men That Cook

March 31, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Historic Langtree Plantation
554 Langtree Road
Mooresville, NC 28117

Tickets are $10 in advance, and are available online or in person at our office and the Cornelius and Mooresville Habitat ReStores. Tickets can be purchased at the event for $15 (or $10 with a church bulletin).

Completion of 10th Women Build house helps Luz escape ‘choking’ rent

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There is no doubt that partnering with Our Towns Habitat for Humanity and Women Build to buy an affordable home will have an immeasurable impact on the future for Luz.

Before building her Habitat home, Luz spent more than 70% of her monthly income just on housing. Her rent, she said, felt like it was choking her. Now happily moved into her new home, Luz says she will finally be able to breathe and relax.

Luz immigrated to the United States from Colombia seven years ago, escaping dangerous conditions there and joining family already living here. Buying her own home is an important next step in her journey.

“Having something in this country makes you feel like you belong, and it is the start of everything,” Luz said.

Luz was not intimidated by the prospect of doing construction work on her own home. She said she enjoyed helping other homeowners build their dreams, and hopes to continue volunteering. Getting up on the roof was the only thing that intimidated her, but she conquered that fear long enough to work up there for a little while.

It helped that she was surrounded by so many strong women, working on Our Towns Habitat’s 10th Women Build  house. Luz said she felt like all the Women Build volunteers were not just helping her, but working alongside her—which is really what a Habitat partnership is all about.

Now that this dream is finally becoming reality, one thing that Luz is most excited about is being able to garden in her backyard. She has never been able to grow a garden before, so she has some learning to do, but she says she is going to grow anything she can. We certainly look forward to seeing what blooms in her yard!

Alissa’s new home offers safety and security

In her search for affordable housing, Alissa has always had to make compromises. Two years ago, she was living in a home with serious repair issues—she had no hot water, could not use her shower and the furnace was not safe to operate. When the property owner was foreclosed on, she had to find somewhere to live quickly.

The house she rents now is in better shape—but her neighborhood is not safe. Recently, someone was murdered just a few streets down from her. Since she has lived there, her dog has been taken from her yard three times. She is afraid to even go out at night—“when I get home from work, I stay home,” she says.

All of that is changing now. Today, Alissa dedicated her beautiful Habitat new home–a home which she has spent many hours helping build, and which she will buy with an affordable mortgage.

The path to homeownership hasn’t been easy—Alissa works long hours at her job with Structure Medical and had to have her schedule adjusted to work on her house—but she says all the work was worth it.

Mixed in with that hard work were new experiences and new friends. There were some aspects of the build, like using a power saw, that were intimidating to Alissa, but once she learned how to use it, she says it became fun. Her favorite part, she tells us, was seeing how the different options she selected for her flooring, cabinets and other finishes came together.

Now the work is done, and she is ready to make this house a home—a safe home where her daughter can come to visit, with her brand new grandbaby, and where she can host family for holiday celebrations.