Habitat Scoop

MEETINGS...

Habitat Middle Keys holds quarterly meetings that are open for anyone interested in getting more involved. They are held on the 3rd Monday of January, April, July and October. At these meetings we discuss our current operations, mission and future plans. The meetings are held at 6:00 p.m. at 8055 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, Florida. Please join us and meet our Board of Directors and other key volunteers. Help us put God's love into action and build homes, communities and hope.

Working Committee Meetings......
In addition to our quarterly meetings, our working committees meet on a regular basis to discuss the specifics of what is happening in each of their areas of focus. If you would like to contribute in any of the following committees:

  • Church & Community Relations
  • Site Selection & Building
  • Family Selection
  • Family Support
  • Resource Development & Fundraising

Please contact our Executive Director @ 305-743-9828 / execdirector@habitatmiddlekeys.org and she will put you in contact with the committee chairperson to inform you of the next meeting.


January 2017

HARD WORKING LOCAL FAMILY REALIZES THE DREAM OF AFFORDABLE HOME OWNERSHIP

Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys Board of Directors along with community leaders, supporters, volunteers, and friends celebrated the hard work and dedication that it took to complete the new affordable home for hard-working couple, long time locals and Marathon High School graduates Ryan and Maria Banks and their 3 lovely daughters. The Home Dedication Ceremony, a staple for the Habitat Homeownership Program, was held on January 7th at 10am. This ceremony is a time for dedicating and blessing the home for the family as well as a day to thank all of the individuals and companies who help make this dream a reality.

The 2016 Habitat Board of Directors volunteer and dedicate a large amount of time towards their mission of creating affordable homeownership in Marathon with the help of community volunteers and donations from individuals and local companies. The construction partners on this home were Valspar Paint, Cameron Carpet Cleaning, Florida Keys A/C, Gonzalez Landscaping, Kelly & Son Electric, GA Contractors and Steve's Plumbing. The community partners that Habitat can count on yearly with donations are Publix Super Markets Charities, Centennial Bank, Iberiabank, Marathon & Lower Keys Association of Realtors, Florida Realtors with Homeownership for All, Inc., Marathon Boat Yard, City of Marathon, Bank of America, Fishermen's Community Hospital, Law Office of Christopher B. Waldera, Dennis and CM Bishop and Florida Keys TV88. The partnerships with these companies is essential to the build projects of the organization.

The new home owners, like all Habitat home owners, had to complete the required "sweat equity" necessary to the completion of the home. They now have the first home of their own in which to raise their girls and a no-interest mortgage. The payments they make on their mortgage go directly into Habitat's Building Fund that will help us build more homes in the future.

Habitat Middle Keys celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2016. The Banks family is our 28th partner family. In 2017 we will complete the build of 4 new homes in Marathon.

Banks family with volunteers

Pictured: Ailani, Savannah, Caidyn, Habitat Board Directors Mike Puto, Christina Gonzalez, Tammy Collins, Linda Mixon, Matt Bussard, Rev. Larry White holding Miss Olivia), John Johnson, Lupe Marzoa and Jill Bell; City Manager Chuck Lindsey, Mayor Doc Dan Zieg, Councilmember John Bartus, Vice Mayor Michelle Coldiron, Jose Marzoa, Joanne Zimmerman, Mr. Garcia, Aiden Gonzalez, Teresa Condas and our new home owners Ryan and Maria Banks. Picture contributed by Linda Johnson and Captain Gene Thompson.

For more information on Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys, contact Executive Director Chris Todd Young at 305-743-9828 or execdirector@habitatmiddlekeys.org. Visit www.habitatmiddlekeys.org to see how you can get more involved with Habitat.


January 2017

Florida REALTORS® Give Boost To Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys to Build Affordable Homes in Marathon through the "Support Homeownership For All" License Plate Grant

Marathon, FL., December 2016 - Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys received a $10,000 grant from Florida REALTORS®' "Support Homeownership For All" specialty license plate fund to support the building of four (4) new affordable homes in 2017. In partnership with the Florida REALTORS® grant, Marathon and Lower Keys Association of REALTORS® (MLKAR) have made the commitment to affordable home ownership by supporting Habitat and to invest its members "sweat equity" volunteer hours in helping with the new build.

Executive Director of Habitat Middle Keys, Chris Todd Young received much encouragement and support from MLKAR to help make this wonderful and much needed donation come true. Both Habitat and MLKAR are committed to serving Marathon, working to ensure a strong and dynamic community while addressing the ever increasing need of affordable homes for purchase.

To date more than 30,000 "Support Homeownership For All" license plates have been sold, raising approximately $800,000 that has been awarded to affordable housing programs all around the state of Florida. The Florida Realtors specialty license plate is available by mail or at your county tax collector's office. The license plate costs an additional $25 (beyond the state's fees for a tag). If you purchase the tag online, you'll pay a convenience fee, which amounts to either $2 or 2.95% of the total cost of the tag. For more information or to purchase online, click here.

To support Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys 2017 build efforts please contact Chris Todd Young, Exec. Director @ 305-743-9828 or email execdirector@habitatmiddlekeys.org. For more information about Habitat visit www.habitatmiddlekeys.org.

MLKAR check presentation

Pictured at the check presentation from left: Kelly Willey, President MLKAR; Jill Bell, President Habitat; Lupe Marzoa, Habitat Director; Tammy Collins, Habitat Director; Chris Todd Young, Exec Director Habitat; Linda Mixon, Director Habitat; Matt Bussard, Director Habitat; and Sandy Tuttle, American Caribbean Real Estate MLKAR Director.


January 2017

Habitat is so blessed to have the support of Royal Furniture and 2017 Build Partner Marathon and Lower Keys Assoc. Of Realtors. Together, with this wonderful Island we call home, we will continue to build affordable homes which are sold to hard working families in Marathon.

MLKAR donation


December 2016

2016 was a wonderful and successful year for the Middle Keys Habitat Affiliate. Closing out the year with Publix Super Markets Charities making an outstanding contribution in the amount of $8,000 to the affiliate as support for their mission of creating truly affordable home ownership to hard working, income qualified families in Marathon. The grant will be used to fund the expenses involved in building two affordable duplex homes that will create four new homeowners, anticipated to be complete April 2017. The partner families that were selected by Habitat Middle Keys are currently working on their required 350 hours of sweat equity.

"Publix Super Markets Charities was established by Publix's founding, Mr. George Jenkins, to improve life in our communities. We believe Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys exemplifies that mission and we are pleased to play a part in their efforts" states Kelly Williams-Puccio, Executive Director for Publix.

"We are very thankful and appreciative of the support," said Christine Todd Young, Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys' Executive Director. "With affordable housing on the forefront right now, their generosity is truly a blessing and helps make our mission possible and dreams come true for families in Marathon".

The support Habitat receives from philanthropic businesses such as Publix, allows continuation of the Habitat for Humanity mission. Through the use of volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, homeownership becomes an affordable reality. For further information visit www.habitatmiddlekeys.org, or call (305) 743-9828.

Publix Super Markets Charities


December 2016

Suzy CurryCongratulations to Suzy Curry. She was named as Habitat Middle KeysVolunteer of the Year!!! Suzy is always one that steps up first and consistently whenever we need volunteers at our events. We know we can always count on her. Thank you Suzy!!! She is also our Community Foundation of the Keys 2017 Unsung Hero.


November 2016

Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys is pleased to be the recipient of $1,000 from The Allstate Foundation - A Helping Hands in the Community Grant in honor of Independent Agent Grimi Betancourt's volunteerism. We are please to partner with Allstate and their commitment to making our hometowns better, safer places to live.

Pictured: Mike Puto, Habitat Board Director; Grimi Betancourt, KeysInsurance; Chris Todd Young, Habitat ED; and Jill Bell, Habitat 2016 Board President

Allstate Foundation


November 2016

17th (not-so) Annual Spelling Bee

What a great event. Thank you Marathon!!! Together, we RAISED $6,100 for affordable housing!!!

Team "The Not New-Bees" sponsored by the Law Offices of Patrick Stevens took the title and Bee plaque with their win. Their word: agammaglobulinemia. What a fight for the win against last year winners, the Switlik Team sponsored by First State Bank. Team "Switlik's Spellosophers". They went out on the word rhynchocephalia but took home the Best Costume Title. This was in Round 11. Great time had by all. BB&T Bank sponsored a table with the Team Name "Mistery Misspellers" who also won best team name. This was a team picked from the audience not knowing they would even compete. They did a fantastic job. My LMC Class XXV Jennifer Powell bff, Shannon Migut and another took the challenge. PromotionsGuy.com guys Ryan and Cheddar were the emcees. Judges table included Monroe County School Board Andy Griffiths, John Dick and Ed Davidson. Who knew these men were so funny and how the LOVE the word USUFRUCT. Enunciator Hal Leftwich kept the words flowing. Additional teams included: Bishop Rosasco & Co with Team Name "Highway to Spell", City of Marathon "Jurrasic Parks & Rec", Fishermen's two teams: "The Stellar Spellers" and "Spellers in Scrubs", FKEC Team "Duraspell", and Iberiabank Team "I Bee Good Spellers". Thank you so much to our sponsor Fishermen's Community Hospital for another great year along with the help of City of Key Colony Beach, Chief DiGiovanni, Centennial Bank, Action Canvas, Island Custom Graphics, Tom Thumb, Subway, Marathon Lady, Marathon Jet Center, The Art Studio, Hawys Cay Resort, Yankee Freedom Key West, the Fury Key West, Lions Club, City of Marathon and Time Out Magazine. Thank you to all the businesses who donated auction items and big shout out to our audience, volunteers andHabitat Board Directors. With your help, we raised $4,000 which will be used directly toward the building of four homes that should be completed in the next 5 months.


October 2016

Habitat Middle Keys was honored to win the HUMANITARIAN AWARD from the Marathon Chamber of Commerce.

We are so proud to take home two wins this year - the the community and from our Marathon businesses. It means so much to the Board of Directors and Volunteers who put so much time, effort and love into what they do ~ creating affordable home ownership opportunities for the hard working families in Marathon.

Thank you to all the Marathon Chamber Businesses who voted for Habitat. It truly means so much!!

Pictured from Left: Jose Marzoa, HFH Volunteer with wife Lupe Marzoa, Board Director. Matt Lawrence of Hawks Cay and Marathon Chamber Board Director Matt Bussard, HFH Board Director; Chris Todd Young, HFH ED; Board Directors Linda Mixon, 2016 President Jill Bell; Tammy Collins and Mike Puto. Missing from picture are well deserved Board Directors Blair Shiver, Christina Gonzalez, John Johnson, Kelly Manghir and Rev. Larry White.

Chamber Awards Best 2016

Humanitarian Award 2016


October 2016

What a group!! Habitat's Team "Hot Mess" taking part in Making Strides in Marathon - Against Breast Cancer.

Strides Walk 2016


September 24, 2016

VOTED BEST OF MARATHON, NON-PROFIT AWARD!!!!!!

Thank you to The Weekly Newspaper and Rotary for a great evening celebrating the BEST of Marathon!!! We are so honored and so happy that this wonderful island community of ours voted us BEST Non-Profit Organization. Thank you to all.

Pictured from left: Board Directors Christina Gonzalez & Tammy Collins; Exec Director Chris Todd Young; Board Directors Matt Bussard, Linda Mixon and John Johnson. Missing from picture are well deserving Board Directors: Jill Bell, Blair Shiver, Lupe Marzoa, Kelly Manghir, Rev. Larry White, and Mike Puto.

Best of Marathon 2016

Best of Marathon 2016 Plaque


September to October 2016

Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys and the Lower Keys joined hands during their 6th Annual Votes for Notes Musical Competition. This 3 Round Event was full of energy and great fun!!

Congratulations to the winners:

In our new JUNIOR category: 1st Place – Delaney, 2nd Place – Amelia.

SOLO/DUO: 1ST Place-Dustin Sedlak, 2nd Place – Glenn Harman.

BAND: 1st Place –The Shanty Hounds, 2nd Place – Bob D’Antonio and his pick-up band.

The Shanty Hounds were also the winners of our One Night Wonder Prize, for bringing in the most money in one night!

This musical competition to see which acts could raise the most money was held over a period of 3 weeks in venues from Marathon to Key West was produced by local musician Ray West. The winners in each category won a $300 cash prize and 2nd place entrants were awarded gift certificates from local business. Cash prizes were sponsored by Marathon and Middle Keys Magazine and Smokin’ Tuna Saloon.

A Special Thank you to all the venues: Looe Key Tiki Bar, Smokin' Tuna and Havana Jack's who also donated a very special "Stay-Cation" certificate from Glunz Ocean Beach Hotel and Resort for our winners.

Proceeds from the events were divided between Habitat for Humanity affiliates in Key West and the Lower Florida Keys and the Middle Keys.

Pictured is Marathon's favorite Pastor, Dustin Sedlak collecting his 1st Place check with Habitat Middle Keys Exec Director Chris Todd Young.

Pastor Dustin

Pictured is 1st Place Junior Delaney who was truly aspiring (Photo by Ralph De Palma).

Delaney


September 2016

This wonderful community of Marathon/Middle Keys!! Bank of America has generously donated $2,500 toward our mission of building affordable homes. This donation will be used directly to help fund our current build of 4 homes that will be sold to hard working families in the Middle Keys. Thank you Bank of America for your support.

Pictured here: Chris Todd Young, Tanya Fraser BOA Branch Manager and Board Directors Jill Bell, Tammy Collins and Mike Puto.

BOA Grant 2016


July 2016

Marathon and Lower Keys Association of Realtors "giving back". What an awesome contribution to our community.... these Realtors donated their Saturday to painting a Habitat for Humanity home. Thank you so much Wayne Carter, Debra Farrell, Sandy Tuttle, Raul Cisneros, Lea Reusch, Elliott Kleizman, Kristen Brenner, Kirsten Difender, Habitat 2016 Board Pres. Jill Bell and Director Mike Puto. Thank you Lynn Goodwin for being there in spirit with the coffee we desperatly needed at 8am this morning. Home owners Maria, Ryan and their 3 beautiful daughters are so grateful and beyond excited to move into their new home. #habitatmiddlekeys

Marathon and Lower Keys Association of Realtors


June 2016

Kirk of the Keys Outreach Giving

Giving Back..... The Kirk of the Keys Presbyterian Church made a $500 donation to Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys to help us continue to build more affordable homes in Marathon for this wonderful community. This donation will be used directly toward the 4 new homes scheduled for completion this year. Pictured are Rev. Dustin Sedlack, Elder Clara Werner, and Habitat ED Chris Todd Young and Director Matt Bussard. Habitat is so very thankful to the Kirk of the Keys for this wonderful donation.

Kirk of the Keys Outreach Giving

June 2016 1st Cornhole Tournament

We raised $1,200 at this fun event. Special Thank you to Centennial Bank, a 2016 Build Partner, for their generous donation of burgers, dogs and all the fixings that kept our players fed.

June 2016 1st Cornhole Tournament group

June 2016 1st Cornhole Tournament winners


April 2016

Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors, Volunteers and soon-to-be new home owners came out to help support our local Florida Keys Contractor's Association during their Annual Golf Tournament.

Golf Tourney 2016

April 2016

Habitat is so blessed to have the support of Royal Furniture and 2016 Build Partner Marathon and Lower Keys Assoc. Of Realtors. Together, with this wonderful Island we call home, we will continue to build affordable homes which are sold to hard working families in Marathon.

2016 MLKAR Build Partner

April 2016

Centennial Bank partners with Habitat as a 2016 Build Partner

Centennial 2016 Build Partner

April 2016

IberiaBank #FloridaKeys team recently joined Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys as a 2016 Build Partner. This donation will be used to help support their annual Mother's Day Fishing Tournament and infamous Spelling Bee, both of which help raise critical funds needed to support affordable home ownership options in the Keys.

2016 Iberiabank Build Partner


March 2016

Habitat for Humanity Middle Keys Board and Volunteers bagging groceries today at Publix to raise money to build our next affordable homes. Publix Marathon and Publix Super Markets Charities are sponsoring one full house this year toward our goal of 5 new affordable homes in 2016. Every dollar donated today will be put directly into the building of these homes.

Habitat Publix Day was a huge success. Thank you to all the amazing Board Directors and volunteers and most importantly our fabulous community for their support. We raised $3500 that will be put directly towards building new affordable homes in Marathon this year.

Publix Supermarket


February 2016

Habitat Making a Difference for Affordable Housing.......

On February 20th, 2016 Habitat Middle Keys performed the Dedication and Blessing of four new homes and four new home owner families. The homes were completed in December and all the families were able to move in before the new year. This Dedication marks the 25th year that Habitat Middle Keys has been serving the Marathon community with a total of 27 families served. The families that were selected to purchase these four homes at a 0% interest loan are selected on multiple factors, one of which is their family income falls at or below 80% of our Monroe County median income. They are solid members of our island and in the following professions: 2 small business owners, an insurance agent, a cake designer/decorator, an MHS Teacher, an employee of FKAA and an employee of US Water.

The ceremony is a significant moment for Habitat, the new home owners, the volunteers and the donors who help make the dream of affordable home ownership come true. These four homes were made possible by the countless hours donated by so many and the funding that helps Habitat build these homes. A special thank you to Marathon Boat Yard Marine Center and Marathon Boats & Yachts owners Bruce and Sherry Popham who, through the Florida Community Tax Credit Program, sponsored two of the four homes. The 3rd home was sponsored by the State of Florida and Habitat for Humanity Florida through Mortgage Settlement Funds. Other major contributors for these builds were Lumber Liquidators, Publix Super Markets Charities, Florida Realtors & Marathon Lower Keys Assoc. of Realtors, Bank of America, Marathon Lumber, Keys Contracting, Alex Landscaping and the City of Marathon.

Pictured are the newly named 2016 Habitat Board of Directors: John Johnson, Tammy Collins, Christina Gonzalez, Rev. Larry White, Board President Jill Bell, Board Secretary Linda Mixon and Mike Puto. Joining them Chris Todd Young, Habitat Exec. Director and Marathon Council woman Michele Coldiron. Not pictured is 2016 Board of Directors Matt Bussard, Kelly Manghir, Board VP Blair Shiver and Board Treasurer Lupe Marzoa.

Dedication and Blessing

Habitat is planning 4 more homes for 2016.


January 2016

Thank you to this wonderful community for attending our Chamber After Hours event. It was such a great time and we were so happy to see so many of our 2015 Build Partners come to show your support. Thank you so much to everyone who helped make it a successful event. To view more of our photos visit www.facebook.com/HFHoftheMiddleKeys/photos


December 2015

Habitat Middle Keys is excited to announce that their CFFK 2016 Unsung Hero / Volunteer of the Year is....

JILL BELL

Jill Bell accepted the role of volunteer President of Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys in 2015, a great task to undertake. Jill spent 4 years prior to her current role as a volunteer and Board Director. In addition to taking on her current position with the responsibilities it holds - Jill is present at all of Habitat's events, represents Habitat to the community, and has stood side be side with other volunteers while we painted our first "A Brush with Kindness" home as well as other hands on projects. Jill Bell spends a large amount of her personal time volunteering with Habitat and being an active President.

We have many wonderful volunteers who do a great deal with our organization and we thank you as well. Jill Bell just stepped out in the limelight this year with her constant and vigorous energy and support.


November 2015 - 16th Annual Adult Spelling Bee:

Such a wonderful and fun event!!! Thank you Marathon for your support. We raised $6300!!!!

Our Teams:

Edward Jones Bull Dozers - Team Edward Jones
Word Warriors - Stanley Switlik teacher team sponsored by First State Bank
Mis-Bee-Havin' - Fishermen's Hospital team - Fishermen's is sponsor of event
BEE "lievers" - Fishermen's 2nd team
The Rosies - BPW team
Static Electricity - FKEC team BEST COSTUME AWARD
Iberiabank - Iberiabank team
Spellcheckers - DRC team sponsored by Law Offices of Patrick Stevens
Dream Team - Marathon High School team sponsored by BB&T Bank
City Hall & Oates - City of Marathon team BEST/MOST ORIGINAL TEAM NAME

WINNERS:

Word Warriors - Stanley Switlik teacher team sponsored by First State Bank
Winning Word: auscultation
Judges: The "Zontian" Judges (Zonta Club of Marathon) Cindy Durkin-Bull, Kris Later, Deb Wonderlin
Emcee: Ryan Schraffenberger Promotions Guy
Enunciator Attorney David Kirwan who was awarded the Heritage Award for starting Habitat Middle Keys in 1991 and the spelling bee in 1999. 27 families have been served to date by Habitat.
Thank you Fishermen's Community Hospital for being our wonderful sponsor for another year of fantastic fun and fundraising. We are so grateful for your partnership.


October 2015

Florida REALTORS® Give Boost to Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys to Build Affordable Homes in Marathon through the “Support Homeownership for All” License Plate Grant

Marathon, FL., October 2015

Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys received a $10,000 grant from Florida REALTORS®’ “Support Homeownership for All” specialty license plate fund to support the building of four (4) new affordable homes in 2016. In partnership with the Florida REALTORS® grant, Marathon and Lower Keys Association of REALTORS® (MLKAR) have made the commitment to affordable home ownership by supporting Habitat and to invest its members “sweat equity” volunteer hours in helping with the new build.

Executive Director of Habitat Middle Keys, Chris Todd Young received much encouragement and support from MLKAR to help make this wonderful and much needed donation come true.

Both Habitat and MLKAR are committed to serving Marathon, working to ensure a strong and dynamic community while addressing the ever increasing need of affordable homes for purchase.

To date more than 24,000 “Support Homeownership for All” license plates have been sold, raising approximately $310,000 that has been awarded to affordable housing programs all around the state of Florida. The Florida Realtors specialty license plate is available by mail or at your county tax collector’s office. The license plate costs an additional $25 (beyond the state's fees for a tag). If you purchase the tag online, you’ll pay a convenience fee, which amounts to either $2 or 2.95% of the total cost of the tag. For more information or to purchase online visit www.floridarealtors.org/…/homeownership-for-all-license-pla….

To support Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys 2016 build efforts please contact Chris Todd Young, Exec. Director @ 305-743-9828 or email execdirector@habitatmiddlekeys.org. For more information about Habitat visit www.habitatmiddlekeys.org.

Pictured at the check presentation from left: Chris Todd Young, Exec Director Habitat; Ryan Elwell, Royal Furniture MLKAR Affiliate Member; Jill Bell, 2015 President Habitat; Sandy Tuttle, American Caribbean Real Estate MLKAR Director; Lisa Ferringo, Coldwell Banker Schmitt Real Estate 2015 MLKAR President.

Homeownership for All


September 2015

Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys Supports Our Veterans during the Annual Veteran's Day Parade.


Marathon, Florida
10/10/2015

Bank Of America 2015

Bank of America steps up to give back to the community they serve with a $2,500 grant to Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys. In this critical time of housing in the Middle Keys, Executive Director Chris Todd Young states "This is such a wonderful blessing. It really does take a village and we are so happy Bank of America is part of ours". Habitat Middle Keys will use this donation toward the building of 4 new homes in 2016. For more information about donating to Habitat to help build affordable homes please contact Chris Todd Young at 305-743-9828 and view their website at www.habitatmiddlekeys.org.

Pictured from left Michelle Disdier, Asst. Financial Ctr Mgr. BOA, Lupe Marzoa 2015 Habitat Board Director, Chris Todd Young, Exec Director Habitat, Tanya R. Fraser Financial Center Mgr BOA, Jill Bell Habitat 2015 Board President, Blair Shiver 2015 Habitat Board VP


 

June 2015

Matt Bussard, 2015 Board of Director, believes everyone needs to chip in and support Habitat.

Matt Bussard and pup


 

Habitat Publix Day = Huge Success

Publix Habitat DayHabitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys wants to say thank you to the many people that we were able to entertain on Saturday March 28th during our "Habitat Publix" day where the Board of Directors along with volunteers and future home owners took on the challenge of bagging groceries for Publix customers during a very windy and busy shopping day on our beloved island.

The goal of the day in addition to community awareness was to raise donation money that will go directly to the building of the next two homes on 64th and 65th Streets. "Affordable home ownership is so very important in Marathon. It is the foundation for families living and working here.... without a safe decent home, our neighbors and colleagues are at risk of having to leave this beautiful community" states Chris Todd Young, Executive Director.

With so much appreciation to the patrons we met on Saturday, we raised $1,363 and sold 25 boat raffle tickets.

Publix Habitat Day

Habitat's fundraising is imperative to their success of building and/or renovating homes for future owners. The next big event is the 9th Annual Mother's Day Dolphin Tournament on May 8th & 9th. In addition to that, they are currently holding a donation raffle for a brand new boat.

If you would like to learn more about Habitat's Mission, the boat raffle and upcoming tournament, or would like to get involved in this wonderful organization please visit www.habitatmiddlekeys.org or call the Exec.Director Chris Todd Young at 305-743-9828


 

February 2015

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY OF THE MIDDLE KEYS ~ MARATHON, FLORIDA

Publix2014 was a wonderful and successful year for the Middle Keys Habitat Affiliate. Closing out the year with Publix Super Markets Charities making an outstanding contribution in the amount of $8,000 to the affiliate as support for their mission of creating truly affordable home ownership to hard working, income qualified families in Marathon. The grant will be used to fund a portion of the expense involved in building two new homes, anticipated to be complete by June 2015. The partner families that were selected by Habitat Middle Keys are currently working on their required 500 hours of sweat equity. Habitat has been busy and in addition to the building of two new homes they are currently processing family applications for an additional two homes; making 2015 the year that 4 new hard working families will realize the dream of home ownership.

"Publix Super Markets Charities was established by Publix's founding, Mr. George Jenkins, to improve life in our communities. We believe Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys exemplifies that mission and we are pleased to play a part in their efforts" states Kelly Williams-Puccio, Executive Director for Publix.

"We are very thankful and appreciative of the support, "said Christine Todd Young, Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys' Executive Director. "With affordable housing on the forefront right now, their generosity is truly a blessing and helps make our mission possible and dreams come true for families in Marathon".

The support Habitat receives from philanthropic businesses such as Publix, allows continuation of the Habitat for Humanity mission. Through the use of volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, homeownership becomes an affordable reality. For further information visit www.habitatmiddlekeys.org, or call (305) 743-9828.

 


A HOME FOR CHRISTMAS - December 2014

Home Dedication

On Dec. 14, 2014 Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys dedicated a home to their 22nd partner family.  Through the good will and determination of the 2014 Habitat Board of Directors Erick, Yaramy and their two young boys will spend their first ever Christmas in their very own home.  Pictured are dad Erick, mom Yaramy and their boys Erick and Jacob who have spent hundreds of sweat equity hours on preparing their new home.  

"So many people and companies were a part of this blessing.... it means so much to all of us and of course most importantly the family".  Affordable home ownership has been on the forefront of many discussions in the past weeks and Habitat Middle Keys remains constant in their effort.  "It is a need, more than any other here in Marathon, and Habitat is going to keep pushing forward to do everything we can within our financial means to continue to create affordable home ownership".

To thank we must the following for their gracious monetary donations and time donations in making this dream come true:
Lopez Tile, Greentech Group Solutions, Valspar Paint, Florida Keys A/C, Alex Landscaping, Maite Lopez, Marathon Lumber, Publix Super Market Charities, Marathon & Lower Keys Associations of Realtors, Royal Furniture, The City of Marathon, Law Offices of Christopher B. Waldera, Bank of America, Coldwell Banker Schmitt Real Estate Co. and BB&T Bank.

With our Board, volunteers, build and community partners we were able to make a dream come true.  If you would like to get involved in Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys and make a difference in our community please see the following contact information:

By Phone 305-743-9828, By Email execdirector@habitatmiddlekeys.org.   Please view our website at www.habitatmiddlekeys.org and our Facebook page with photos at www.facebook.com/hfhofthemiddlekeys. You can make donations via our website www.habitatmiddlekeys.org toward the building of our next two homes in Marathon.


October 2014

Habitat Middle Keys is excited to announce the completion of our Brush with Kindness project.

This was truly a wonderful project. Pat Rathbun, her family (sister, brother in law, sons, grandchildren, and more) as well as friends are BEYOND grateful. We created many tears of happiness.

A very big thank you to all the local officials, companies and individuals who helped us protect the future of one of our neighbors. Please view the video below to see for yourself the difference we can make. Feel free to share forward so that others may see what we do with the partnerships we have created in Marathon.

In gratitude,

HFH of the Middle Keys


August 2014

Bank of America grantBank of America and Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys join hands and hearts toward the mission of creating affordable home ownership in Marathon. Tanya Fraser, VP/Banking Center Mgr at Bank of America presented to Habitat's 2014 Board of Directors: Lupe Marzoa, Secretary; Tim Wonderlin, President; Jill Bell, Vice Pres; Chris Todd Young, Exec. Director and Don Dahlfues, Treasurer; a wonderful grant in the amount of $2,500 that will be used in the building two new homes scheduled for an early 2015 completion. These homes, which are sold at cost and with a zero percent interest mortgage, allow hard working families in the Middle Keys to realize the American dream of home ownership. The applicant families, who were selected earlier this year, are currently working on the required 500 hours of sweat equity that must be completed before they purchase the home from Habitat. Habitat is so grateful for the support of Bank of America and working together to build a better community.


July 2014

HFH Home Owners and Board Appreciation Picnic Celebration


June 2014


BB&T Bank partners with Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys

BB & T Bank donated $1000 and selected Habitat Middle Keys as their Lighthouse Project for 2014. On June 21st a wonderful group of volunteers from BB&T, Habitat and our community converged to a home in Marathon and braved the heat to complete the wonderful landscaping project together. The group was happy to "lend a hand up" and make a difference in Marathon. The home, once the rehab is completed, will be sold at cost and a 0% mortgage to wonderful well deserving and hard working family in Marathon. Habitat's Mission is to create affordable home ownership for hard working families in Marathon. If you would like to become involved in Habitat, contact the Executive Director at 305-743-9828 or execdirector@habitatmiddlekeys.org. Visit www.habitatmiddlekeys.org for more information.


May 2014

Marathon & Lower Keys Association of Realtors® CHARITY OF THE MONTH for April was Habitat for Humanity, Middle Keys. Ryan Elwell, Royal Furniture, and Stacie Kidwell, American Caribbean Real Estate, presented Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Christine Todd Young (center) a check for $1,294.30.

Monies raised include a portion of sales from customers referred to Royal Furniture by local Realtors®, and donations collected by members. Habitat for Humanity, Lower Keys, is the Charity of the Month for May.


April 2014

The Key Colony Beach Fishing and Boating Club presented a wonderful donation of $500 to Habitat Treasurer Don Dahlfues and Exec Director Christine Todd Young to use toward the 8th Annual Mother's Day Dolphin Tournament.









March 11, 2014
PRESS RELEASE

Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys has named and elected their 2014 Board of Directors and Officers. 2014 Board of Directors and Officers are: Tim Wonderlin, President; Jill Bell, Vice President; Don Dahlfues, Treasurer; Pam Marco, Secretary; Patrick Stevens, Blair Shiver, Bob Warn, Elba Ornelas, Jess Kaplan, Katia Chacon, Kelly Manghir, Lupe Marzoa, Matt Bussard and Rev. Larry White.

This year Habitat Middle Keys will be working on two new home builds, one rehab and completing the first Brush with Kindness project. In order to make these projects a success, Habitat will be holding their 8th Annual Mother’s Day Dolphin Tournament May 9-10th 2014 which includes the 2nd year they will raffle a brand new boat.

With much to do, Habitat is always looking for people who wish to donate their time, skills and monetary resources to the organization’s mission: Putting God’s love into action by building homes, communities and hope. The support of corporate grants such as Publix Super Markets Charities and our community, we can build safe, decent and affordable homes and sell them to hard working families who live and work in Marathon – contributing citizens in our wonderful city who deserve the dream of home ownership.

For more information about Habitat Middle Keys you may visit habitatmiddlekeys.org or contact the Executive Director, Christine Todd Young at 305-743-9828.

Information about the 8th Annual Mother’s Day Dolphin Tournament can be found by visiting mothersdaydolphintournament.com.

Board of Directors Blair Shiver and Elba Ornelas kicked off the Marathon Seafood Festival booth for Habitat on March 8th. Only 300 tickets will be sold to win the brand new 2014 15' Edgewater 158CS boat with a Yamaha F70 motor and EZ Loader Trailer.

For your ticket please call 305-743-9828 OR stop in and visit Marathon Boat Yard Marine Center ~ Habitat Build Sponsor as well as sponsor of both the boat raffle and the 8th Annual Mother’s Day Dolphin Tournament set for May 9th & 10th this year.


The 14th Not-So-Annual Spelling Bee

WAS THE BEST BEE EVER!!!! Thanks to our sponsor Fishermen's Community Hospital.

We had 13 Teams with our 1st ever "Kid" Team, Marathon Home School Group sponsored by BB & T Bank.

With words like termagant, accoucheur, and vexillology this was an amazing Bee where at the 12th Round there were still 3 teams spelling for the win.

We had a fantastic Silent Auction with prizes such as A Brand New Recliner, courtesy of Royal Furniture; Stays at Hawks Cay Resort, Snuba trip from Tildens, Limo to Key West from Tropical Limo and so much more!!

Stats:

  • 1st Place, 2013 Champions: Edward Jones, Sarah Cizmas, Doug Mayer, Janine Mothner
    Team: "Three's Financial Company"
  • 2nd Place: BPW & American Caribbean, Bonnie Sanderson, Anita Nelson, Patty Ivey
    Team: "BPW Rosies"
  • 3rd Place: Law Offices of Patrick M Stevens, Jamie Stevens, Mary Stella Kara Pascutti
    Team: "Dolphin Dictionarians"
  • Best Costume: City of Marathon, George Garrett, Stacy Charlton, Debra London
    Team: "Committed AND Connected" wearing straight jackets all night
  • Most Original Team Name: Centennial Bank Amy Haberman, Angela Gruetzmann Jo Ann Wagner
    Team: "Gnathostomaisistic Zom-Bee's" - based on word they lost in 2012

Overall, this was our most successful Bee in history!! We raised 60% more donations than any prior year.

A very big thank you to everyone who helped make this happen:

  • Fishermen's Community Hospital, our Sponsor
  • The following for their wonderful donations and contributions: Centennial Bank, San Pablo Church, KeyHopper Taxi, Karen Trujillio,Cash Flow Jewelry, Cristina's Boutique, Florida Keys A/C, Vespa Stained Glass, BB & T Bank, Linda Lee Byars, Keys Weekly Newspapers, Hawks Cay Resort, Glunz Ocean Beach Hotel, Sombrero Country Club, Tarpon Creek Bar & Grill, Tilden's Dive Shop, Dolphin Research Center, Tropical Limo, Royal Furniture, Captains Hook's, and all the wonderful volunteers who took their time out to make a great event.
  • Our wonderful Emcee, Jason Koler. Enunciator extraordinaire: Dr. Hal Leftwich. Our Judge Panel: Sarah Morton, Deb Wonderlin and Katrina Wiatt.
  • And last but not least all of our wonderful homeowners, volunteers and Habitat Board of Directors. Without their time into this event our success would not have been possible.

'Tis the Season of Giving...
Publix Super Markets Charities Gives to Habitat Middle Keys ~ 2013

The Publix Super Markets Charities has made an outstanding and wonderful contribution to Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys. On December 9th, 2013 a grant in the amount of $8,000 was awarded to the affiliate as support for their mission of creating truly affordable homeownership to hard working, income qualified families in Marathon. The grant will be used toward our next two homes which are proposed for completion in the summer of 2014.

"Publix Super Markets Charities was established by Publix's founder, Mr. George Jenkins, to improve life in our communities. We believe Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys exemplifies that mission and we are pleased to play a part in their efforts" states Kelly Williams-Puccio, Executive Director for Publix.

"We are very thankful and appreciative of the support we have received from Publix since 2010,"said Christine Todd Young, Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys' Executive Director. "Their generosity helps make our mission possible and dreams come true for families in Marathon".

The support Habitat receives from philanthropic businesses such as Publix, allows continuation of the Habitat for Humanity mission. Through the use of volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, homeownership becomes an affordable reality. For further information visit www.habitatmiddlekeys.org, or call (305) 743-9828.


OCTOBER 2013 ~ Not for Profit Humanitarian Award. We are so very proud and honored to be the recipient of the 2013 Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce Not for Profit Humanitarian Award. On behalf of our Board of Directors, volunteers, homeowners and future homeowners - Thank you Marathon Chamber members, friends and colleagues. It means so much to us and we are so proud to be a part of this wonderful community and Chamber!!! The Awards Banquet at Hawks Cay was incredible and what an amazing group of people!!


June 2013 ~ Homes for Happiness. Guerra and Hornbuckle Families homes are coming together. Two wonderful families will be realizing the dream of affordable home ownership in August 2013. These homes are sponsored by the Marathon Boat Yard and being built in partnership with the following companies:

Publix Super Market Charities, Alex Landscaping, Discount Rock and Sand, Rhodes Plumbing, Keys Contracting Services, Inc., Florida Keys Contractors Association, Modular Homes of the Florida Keys, and Building Solutions. With the help of these wonderful companies, Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys is able to build safe, decent and affordable homes for hardworking families in Marathon.

View this link for more photos of the build: 65th/66th Build


Habitat Middle Keys steps up to help the Florida Keys Contractors Association....

FKCA 2013
Volunteers Matt Bussard and Chelsea Broderick are all smiles with 2013 Board of Director Elba Ornelas on Saturday Aug. 26, 2013. Habitat "gave back" to the Florida Keys Contractor's Association by helping with their Annual Poker Run. This crew manned the Lazy Day South location.


Contractors Donate to Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys ~ May 2013  

Florida Keys Contractors Assocation presented a check to Habitat in the amount of a $1,000 - a wonderful donation towards the 65th/66th Street Build "Homes for Happiness".

2013 Habitat Board President, Tim Wonderlin was on hand with Exec Director Chris Todd Young to accept this donation.  The Contractors Association was represented by Christian Weinhofer, Harry Kostic, Chris Gratton, Brooks Thommes, Brian Botsford, and Bruce McClenithan.  Habitat Middle Keys Board of Directors are so very thankful for  the support.  


Picture by Blake McCarthy / Keys Weekly


Publix Super Market Charities Grant ~ The Publix Super Markets Charities has made an outstanding contribution to Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys. In October 2012 a grant in the amount of $8,000 was awarded to Habitat Middle Keys as support for their mission of creating truly affordable homeownership to hard working, income qualified families in Marathon. The grant will be used to fund a portion of the 65th/66th Street "Homes for Happiness" Build.  The partner families that were selected by Habitat Middle Keys are currently working on their required 500 hours of sweat equity.

“Publix Super Markets Charities was established by Publix’s founder, Mr. George Jenkins, to improve life in our communities. We believe Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys exemplifies that mission and we are pleased to play a part in their efforts” states Kelly Williams-Puccio, Executive Director for Publix.

“We are very thankful and appreciative of the support,” said Christine Todd Young, Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys’ Executive Director. “Their generosity helps make our mission possible and dreams come true for families in Marathon”.


May 2013 ~ CONGRATULATIONS to long time Marathon local, Bill Heffernan. Mr. Heffernan, "Lucky Bill", was the winner of our 1st time boat raffle which was made possible by our wonderful partners Marathon Boat Yard with Yamaha and Edgewater. Bill supported Habitat Middle Keys with a $100 donation for his "winning ticket" that was pulled from a total of 300. Pictured (from the bow) are Marathon Boat Yard owners, Bruce & Sherry Popham; Tim Wonderlin, 2013 Habitat President; Bill Heffernan (seated); Christine Todd Young, Habitat Exec. Director; and Don Dahlfues, 2013 Habitat Treasurer.


Key Colony Beach Fishing & Boating Club graciously awarded Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys a donation in the amount of $300 towards the 7th Annual Mother's Day Dolphin Tournament. Commodore Bill Knickman with next in command, Bob Warn (who is also a 2013 Habitat Board of Director) presented the "big check" to Chris Todd Young, Habitat ED.

Marathon Lower Keys Association of Realtors selected Habitat Middle Keys as their focus for April 2013. Christine Todd Young (right), Executive Director for Habitat Middle Keys accepted a check for $650.00 presented by Ryan Elwell, Royal Furniture and Julie Anne Salz, RE/MAX Marathon Vacation Real Estate. Money raised and donated to Habitat included a portion of sales from customer referrals to Royal Furniture by local Realtors and contributions collected by MLKAR membership.


Marathon Boat Yard partners with Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys

The Marathon Boat Yard Marine Center along with Yamaha, has partnered with Habitat Middle Keys this year as the main sponsor of the 7th Annual Mother's Day Dolphin Tournament. A wonderful addition to this year's tournament; the raffle of a brand new 2013 Edgewater 158CS Power Boat with Yamaha F70 motor and "EZ Loader" trailer was the product of owner's Bruce and Sherry Popham's mind. They wanted to assist in this being the best tournament to date. The raffle tickets for the boat are on sale now for a donation to Habitat in the amount of $100.00. Only 300 tickets will be sold. For a ticket, you can stop into Marathon Boat Yard at 2059 Overseas Hwy, Marathon or contact Habitat Executive Director at 305-743-9828. The drawing for the brand new boat, valued at $25,000, will be on May 11th, at the tournament.

The 7th Annual Mother's Day Dolphin Tournament to benefit Habitat Middle Keys will be held on May 10th – 11th. This is a fun and festive one day fishing tournament with over $15,000 in cash and prized to be awarded. Information about the tournament can be found at www.mothersdaydolphintournament.com or by calling 305-743-9828.

Marathon Boat Yard is the Florida Keys' One Stop Boating Center, serving Ocean Reef to Key West. It is the largest full service marine facility in the Keys. Habitat's Exec Director Christine Todd Young said "We are so thankful for their partnership and that they have embraced our organization. Their efforts will positively affect our ability to "give a hand up" to those who need it."

Habitat Middle Keys, whose mission is to create truly affordable homeownership for hard working families in Marathon, has assisted a total of 19 families realize the dream of homeownership since it was founded in 1991. They are currently working on the 20th and 21st home to be completed by July 2013. All money raised at the Mother's Day Dolphin Tournament and the boat raffle donations will be used to build these two homes. For more information, please contact Christine Todd Young, Executive Director, at 305-743-9828 or visit www.habitatmiddlekeys.org



BB & T Bank supports Habitat Middle Keys with a wonderful donation of $500.00. This Bronze Sponsorship level for the 7th Annual Mother's Day Dolphin Tournament is so greatly appreciated. The tournament will be held on May 10-11th. It is the largest fundraiser of the year for the organization. Pictured: Habitat Middle Keys Executive Director, Christine Todd Young with Lupe Marzoa, Asst. Vice President/Financial Center Leader II. Lupe is also a 2013 Board of Director with Habitat Middle Keys. We thank her so much for her time and dedication to our organization and mission.


First State Bank supports Habitat Middle Keys with a wonderful donation of $500.00. This Bronze Sponsorship level for the 7th Annual Mother's Day Dolphin Tournament is so greatly appreciated. The tournament will be held on May 10-11th. It is the largest fundraiser of the year for the organization. Pictured: Becky Shifflett, CSO/Branch Manager; Jeff Smith, Sr. Vice President/Senior Lender; and Habitat Middle Keys Executive Director, Christine Todd Young with Caidyn Young (4) as a executive in training.


2013 President Tim Wonderlin and Executive Director Christine Todd Young were all smiles at the 2013 Marathon Seafood Festival. This wonderful booth was a great time to educate people on our organizations mission and to begin selling tickets for our 2013 Boat Raffle.


Habitat Middle Keys joins St. Paul AME Church to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. "A Day On, Not A Day Off"
January 21, 2013

Pictured from left: 2012 Habitat Middle Keys Vice President, Tim Wonderlin; Rev. Larry White of St. Paul AME Church; Daryl Jones, Guest Speaker and former FL State Senator; Habitat Middle Keys Exec Director, Christine Todd Young; City of Marathon Planning Dept. Director, George Garrett


"Untied Spelling Associ-ocean" are Spelling Champs
Island Service team out-spells reigning champs and takes the title

Friday September 21st 2012, a spelling team sponsored by Island Service claimed victory at the 13th (not-so) Annual Spelling Bee benefiting Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys.

To capture the crown, Sara Matthis, Anne Romance and Michelle Franck bested a collegiate dictionary and an assemblage of wordy maestros including a fishing guide, some realtors, small business owners, and a slew of bankers and health care professionals and took the title (and Bee trophy) with "scena". 2nd place was team "(Glamerous) Dead Woman Walking" sponsored by the Monroe County Medical Examiners Office and taking 3rd would be last years reigning champs, team "Spelling Words of Wisdom, Let it BEE!" the 2 Switlik 1 MHS spellers sponsored by First State Bank. Best team name went to FKEC's sponsored team "The Dim Watts" and Best costume was had by team "G.I. Jones" sponsored by Sarah Cizmas, Edward Jones.

Thank you so very much to our partner sponsor Fishermen's Community Hospital and all of our teams and their sponsors: Edward Jones (Sarah Cizmas), Centennial Bank, Coldwell Banker, Island Service, First State Bank, MC Medical Examiner's office, FKEC and Iberia Bank. Together we raised $2,600 to continue our mission changing lives of hard working families in Marathon and making affordable home ownership a reality vs. just a dream. Special thanks to the following for helping make this happen: San Pablo Catholic Church, Judges Panel of Chris Fletcher (FKCC), Jeff Coldren (Board Fishermen's) Marathon Mayor Pete Worthington; our enunciator Dr. Hal Leftwich, CEO Fishermen's, our emcee Jason Koler (the Keys Weekly Newspapers), the Habitat volunteers, the Capital Bank volunteers, Byars Music Store, Centennial Bank, Circle K, The Elks Lodge, Home Depot, Casa Marina KW, Little Palm Island, Spirit Catamaran, Brandi Simpson LMT, Keys Grafix, Walgreens, Kmart, Roco's Dockside and Sundance Watersports Hawks Cay. We could not do what we do without your support. THANK YOU!!!


First State Bank Donation
September 5th, 2012

First State Bank has graciously sponsored the returning 2011 Spelling Bee Champions as they compete to retain their title at this year's 13th (not-so) Annual Adult Spelling Bee to be held on Sept. 21st, 7pm at San Pablo Catholic Church Hall. Pictured: Habitat Middle Keys Executive Director, Christine Todd Young; Spelling Team, Mary Lou Darczuk, Rosa Rios, Deb Smith; First State Bank Marathon Branch Manager Becky Shifflett.


Fishermen's Community Hospital Partners with Habitat Middle Keys
September 5th, 2012

"Habitat Day" at Fishermen's Community Hospital 9/5. Thank you all for supporting Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys' mission.


Publix Super Market Charities Grant 2012
The Publix Super Markets Charities has made an outstanding contribution to Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys. On May 2nd, 2012 a grant in the amount of $8,000 was awarded to the affiliate as support for their mission of creating truly affordable homeownership to hard working, income qualified families in Marathon. The grant will be used to fund a portion of the expense involved in preparing two vacant lots for the building new homes, anticipated to be complete January 2013. The partner families that were selected by Habitat Middle Keys are currently working on their required 500 hours of sweat equity.

"Publix Super Markets Charities was established by Publix's founder, Mr. George Jenkins, to improve life in our communities. We believe Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys exemplifies that mission and we are pleased to play a part in their efforts" states Kelly Williams-Puccio, Executive Director for Publix.

"We are very thankful and appreciative of the support," said Christine Todd Young, Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys' Executive Director. "Their generosity helps make our mission possible and dreams come true for families in Marathon".

The support Habitat receives from philanthropic businesses such as Publix, allows continuation of the Habitat for Humanity mission. Through the use of volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, homeownership becomes an affordable reality. For further information visit www.habitatmiddlekeys.org, or call (305) 743-9828.


PRESS RELEASES

Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys Presents First "LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD" March 2012

Habitat volunteers, directors and officers recognized longtime volunteer Bruce Ferraro by presenting him with their 1st "Lifetime Achievement Award". Ferraro has been a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity here and in other cities for over 20 years. "Bruce's involvement, leadership and achievements with our local affiliate has taken us to a greater level", states 2012 President, Jeff Smith. Ferraro's dedication and guidance made it possible for 16 hardworking families in Marathon to realize the dream of homeownership. Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys' mission is to create truly affordable homeownership to qualified, hardworking families.

The 2012 Volunteer Board of Directors and Officers are: Jeff Smith, President; Tim Wonderlin, Vice President; Lili Huergo, Treasurer; Pam Marco, Secretary and Directors: Bob Warn, Katia Chacon, Delia Mercado, and Maria Triana. These individuals, along with multiple committee volunteers, work diligently on fundraising efforts to fund the homes they build. One example of their fundraising efforts is the upcoming Annual Mother's Day Dolphin Tournament presented by The California Wine Club. This event, started by Bruce Ferraro 6 years ago, will be integral in Habitat's efforts this year to build two more homes. "The community of Marathon is so generous and makes events like this possible," states Exec Director, Christine Todd Young who extends a Thank You to Salty's Waterfront Grill & the 7 Mile Marine, Dot Palm Landscaping, Holiday Inn Express Marathon, The Weekly Newspapers, Island Breeze Realty, Castaway's Restaurant and Sushi Bar, Conch Country, First State Bank, the Marathon Chamber of Commerce, the UPS Store, and Centennial Bank. This one day, fun and festive fishing tournament is scheduled for May 11-12th. For more information about the tournament please visit www.mothersdaydolphintournament.com and if you would like to become more involved with Habitat please visit www.habitatmiddlekeys.org or call 305-743-9828 to see how you can help.


To the Editor of the Keynoter Newspapers, January 2012

On behalf of Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys' Board of Directors, volunteers, current homeowners and future homeowners we would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the City of Marathon Council for the generous grant awarded on Dec. 13th to our affiliate in the amount of $3,600.

Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys is a non-profit Christian housing ministry founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child deserves a safe, decent and affordable home. Since 1991, Habitat's dedication to this mission has made it possible for 19 deserving families with low-to-moderate income realize the dream of homeownership. At the end of 2011, we selected two additional families as new potential homeowners. The funds awarded by the City Council will help aid us in preparing one of the two homes scheduled for 2012. One of the recently selected families will get to purchase this home and call it their own.

It is so rewarding and emotional to watch a young child get excited to "pick" his or her own room for the first time in their life. This is something most take for granted and something many children do not have. We have changed the lives of 19 families here in Marathon and we cannot thank the City Council enough for supporting our mission as we change to lives of two more.

With Sincere Gratitude,
Christine Todd Young
Executive Director
Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys, Inc.


Two new additions to Habitat family

Guerras, Hornbuckles able to remain in the Keys

by Blair Shiver
November 18, 2011
Keys Weekly

Monroe County Sheriff's Deputy Willie Guerra had all but put in his notice and prepared to move his family to Cape Coral.

He and his wife, Juneisy, a nurse with Hospice and the Visiting Nurses Association, just welcomed a third son, and their modest trailer with one and a half bedrooms was anything but suitable living conditions for their family. "It's hard, because as a as a cop and a nurse, we feel like we should be able to afford something down here," Guerra noted.


Andrew Guerra was born on Tuesday, Nov. 8 at 5 pm to parents Wilfredo and Juneisy Guerra. Born in Key West at Lower Keys Medical Center, Andy weighed an even 8 lbs. and measured 20 inches long. His proud brother, Anthony, 6, has been keeping a close eye on his baby brother with help from brother William, 17.

After making half a dozen offers on modest homes only to be shut out by buyers with cash in hand, Guerra admitted he'd reached the end of his rope. Though he could easily work in law enforcement on the mainland for significantly greater pay, the Guerras have made their home in Marathon for the past 11 years; he'd much prefer to raise his family, including newborn, Andy, in a close-knit community where the crimes rates are significantly lower.

That was precisely the reason why he and Juneisy applied for a home through Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys, and late last month, they received word that they'd be able to remain in the town they've come to know as home.

"A lot of people don't want to put in for it," Guerra elaborated, "but it's to help keep people like us from moving away because we can't afford to live here."

Executive Director Christine Todd Young emphasized that becoming a Habitat family is a privilege that's earned and not simply a gift of a free and clear home.

"Once a family is chosen, they are then prospective homeowners because they must complete 100 sweat equity hours and are responsible for the mortgage," Young said. "They pay taxes and insurance just like every other homeowner. However, it's a 0% interest mortgage, which makes it truly affordable housing by keeping the payments low."

For Tim Wonderlin, who's been involved with Habitat for Humanity for the past four years and currently chairs the Family Selection Committee said this year is a particularly special one in that two families will receive the keys to their new home in the coming months.

"We're happy to be able to put another family that's been living in conditions that are not comfortable for their situation in their own home," Wonderlin said, "Any family we can help is good, but to be able to help two families in one year is great."

Shelley Hornbuckle, along with her daughter Kali and Kali's grandfather, Ron Hornbuckle, will be the proud recipients of the next Habitech Home built in partnership with students at Marathon High School.


Shelley Hornbuckle, (third from left) with her daughter, Kali, is the second family in Marathon to be selected as a prospective new homeowner by Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys. She is pictured with (l-r): Bruce Ferraro, President; Pam Marco, Secretary; Katia Chacon, Director; Delia Martinez, Director; Angel Cabrera, Family Selection Committee; Maria Triana, Director; Linda Lee, Family Selection Committee; Bob Byars, Volunteer; and Kelly Manghir, Director. Upon completing sweat equity requirements, Hornbuckle, her daughter and father will become the newest Habitat for Humanity homeowners.

Hornbuckle, like the first Habitech Home owner, Sarah Adams, is a graduate of MHS; it was actually through Adams that Hornbuckle learned about the Habitat application process.

"Mrs. Adams was Kali's third grade teacher, and she passed out fliers to her students," Hornbuckle remembered. "My dad went with me to the affordable homeownership workshop, and as soon as I brought the paperwork home and began filling it out, I just started calling it my home ... tried to remain positive."

The medical surgical nurse at Lower Keys Medical Center works four 12-hour shifts per week in between which she also works for the Area Health Education Coalition (AHEC) assisting with school readiness screenings. Her father, a retired veteran who currently resides in Miami, regularly takes the five-hour bus ride down from Miami to care for Kali when mom's working overnight.

Hornbuckle and her daughter currently reside in the Middle Keys housing project, and she counts their selection as prospective new homeowners through Habitat among a growing list of blessings.

"If I'd not been able to find a place in the projects, I wouldn't still be here in Marathon because I couldn't afford it," Hornbuckle admitted.

Even after a long night at work, she's still eager to help organize closets at the Elks Lodge and pass out fliers to residents and visitors throughout the Lower Keys and Key West to promote the upcoming D'Asign Source Gala on Dec. 3 – Middle Keys Habitat's primary annual fundraiser – because each sweat equity hour she logs help get her one step closer to owning her own home.