Habitat Scoop Archive

December 2019

We received an incredible grant from the Alliance for Aging, Inc. Their $15,000 grant is going directly toward our Critical Home Repair program. Even over 2 years after Irma, there are still so many Florida Keys residents that still need assistance, and Habitat Middle Keys is so thankful to be able to continue our repair work. #ItTakesAnIsland

November 2019

Habitat is so blessed to have the support of the Marathon Garden Club. On November 30, 2019 they held their yearly Holiday Bazaar. During the wonderful event, they raised donations that will be used directly toward the landscaping of the new affordable homes we are building on 51st Street, Marathon. Thank you Marathon Garden Club for supporting us as we create affordable homeownership for our hard working families in Marathon. #ItTakesanIsland #AffordableHomeownership #MarathonGardenClub

Pictured receiving the donation of $1,765 is Habitat's Board President Blair Shiver; Meghan Richardson Habitat Family Services Mgr.; Habitat Board Director Erin Arnett; Marathon Garden Club President Scarlett Duffy and Habitat Board Director Matt Bussard.

Pictured receiving the donation of $1,765 is Habitat's Board President Blair Shiver; Meghan Richardson Habitat Family Services Mgr.; Habitat Board Director Erin Arnett; Marathon Garden Club President Scarlett Duffy and Habitat Board Director Matt Bussard.


Thrivent Financial has been an amazing partner in our Irma Repair program over the past 2 years. We have hosted approximately 20 teams who spend the week with us volunteering on repair projects in addition to donations over the amount of $200,000. Thank you Thrivent Builds!!!!

Thrivent Financial

October 2019

We are beyond thrilled to have 3 new families join our Habitat Middle Keys family as homeowners! The Hannahs were chosen to be our single complete Irma-Rebuild. Hurricane Irma completely destroyed their residence in 2017, but now they have a brand new beautiful home. Thanks to the support of our community, we were able to ensure that this family can stay in Marathon, where they’ve lived for decades. The Suarez-Diaz and Perez-Amador families settled into their homes last month. Once again, with generous support, we were able to make the dream of affordable homeownership a reality for these two hardworking, Middle Keys families. Welcome home!

Welcome home Hannah family!

Welcome home Hannah family!

Welcome home Suarez-Diaz family!

Welcome home Suarez-Diaz family!

Welcome home Perez-Amador family!

Welcome home Perez-Amador family!

Habitat Middle Keys has received an amazing grant from Wells Fargo Foundation of $25,000. This generous grant is going directly toward our current homes under construction on 51st Street. We were also thrilled to welcome back Wells Fargo Team Member Volunteers helping on the jobsite. We are so grateful for Wells Fargo’s continued support.

Habitat Middle Keys is so grateful for the amazing support of Royal Furniture. Their partnership is amazing – their donation to us of $150,000 is integral in the building of affordable homeownership in Marathon. Thank you Royal Furniture, we are blessed to have you in our community!

We are so excited to be partnering with Lowe’s! We have received a very generation donation of $25,000 to continue to not only build new affordable homes in the Middle Keys but to continue our critical repair work after Hurricane Irma damaged our islands. Thank you Lowe’s for your support!

July 2019

We are so very blessed with a $5,000 Certification Grant awarded to us by Habitat Strong & Simpson Strong-Tie. Executive Director Christine Todd Young explains, “Knowing that the homes we are building meet FORTIFIED Home Certification standards gives us and our homeowners more peace of mind about the homes’ ability to withstand future disasters.” Our new builds are moving along extremely well, and with the help of partners like Habitat Strong & Simpson Strong-Tie, we are not just excited about our progress but extremely proud of the quality as well.

June 2019

Habitat Middle Keys has received another incredible grant through the Habitat Hammers Back critical repair program. Although Hurricane Irma hit our island town nearly two years ago, there is still so much to do. We are thrilled to be able to continue helping our Middle Keys residents. 

Capital Bank partnered with us earlier this year as a Mangrove Club sponsor with their very generous donation of $5,000. We’re so grateful for the sponsorship and support of our Habitat Mission. Our new partners went above and beyond and had team members come out to volunteer at one of our critical repair projects. We can’t say it enough, but #ItTakesAnIsland!!!!

May 2019

Wells Fargo joined us at the end of April to volunteer at one of our critical home repair projects. They continue to be fantastic supporters of Habitat Middle Keys as we continue our mission of providing affordable homeownership and Irma repairs throughout Marathon. We received an incredible grant of $15,000 that is going directly toward the building of four new homes that should be completed this summer. Thank you Wells Fargo!

We are beyond thankful to have Capital Bank Foundation join us in 2019 as a Black Mangrove Partner and Mother’s Day Dolphin Tournament sponsor. Thank you for the amazing $5,000 grant to continue our mission!

April 2019

On February 14th, Jolly Roger RV Park held its Annual Spaghetti Dinner which couples as their Valentine's Day Fundraiser. Each year, this amazing group who call Marathon their second home, come together and select a charity to benefit from this yearly fundraiser. In 2019, Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys was blessed to be selected as the recipient of their hard work. There were over 150 residents in attendance and over seven 6' long tables filled with spectacular auction items donated from businesses and individuals in the community. Months of planning and pounding the pavement resulted in a most successful event. Jolly Roger RV Resort donated an amazing $3,903.00 to Habitat through their efforts. The money raised was used directly to purchase the windows needed for 5 homes that Habitat is currently building. As Habitat Middle Keys says, "It takes and Island" and Jolly Roger residents proved that to be true. They have selected Habitat Middle Keys to benefit from this event in 2020.

Thanks Marathon and Lower Keys Association of Realtors for selecting Habitat Middle Keys as your April Charity of the Month! We are so grateful for the $1,000 donation sponsored by Royal Furniture. And thanks for a fabulous Luncheon!

As our 13th Annual Mother’s Day Dolphin Tournament approaches, we’re thrilled to have many returning Tournament Sponsors and some brand new ones join for 2019! Monroe Concrete and Charley Toppino & Sons, Inc. are joining this year with an incredible $4,000.00 sponsorship. Thank you Florida Keys Conractors Association for your loyalty as a tournament sponsor. This year’s tournament is shaping up to be the best one yet!

February 2019

2019 is off to an incredible start. Our Critical Repair Program is continuing strong into the new year. In addition to all of the repairs, we currently have four brand new builds, two recycled homes and a complete rebuild of a home destroyed by Hurricane Irma in the works. We could not do such good work without the generous support of our amazing community. A big thanks to Publix Super Markets Charities for their $8,000 partial home sponsorship. We’re so thankful to have Publix continue to be a Build Partner in 2019. IberiaBank and D’Asign Source have also joined our 2019 Mangrove Club as Build Partners. Their $2,500 contributions go directly toward the new homes that are underway.  Thanks Iberiabank and D’Asign Source!

Habitat Middle Keys is also the extremely grateful recipient of a $290,000 grant from the Red Cross to help us continue our repair work well into the new year. This extremely impactful grant is allowing our team to continue to assist our neighbors who are still in need of repairing their homes after Hurricane Irma hit in September 2017. Although the storm was more than one year ago, there is still so much more work to be done, and we’re so thankful for the assistance of the Red Cross as we continue to help our Keys community.

As we gear up for the 13th Annual Mother’s Day Dolphin Tournament set to take place May 10-11, we’re beyond grateful to Keys All Area Roofing & Waterproofing, Inc. for committing to be our Platinum Sponsor and a 2019 Build Partner. This year’s tournament is going to be fantastic!

November 2018

The 18th (not-so) Annual Spelling Bee was a HUGE success! Thanks to our wonderful sponsors, teams, supporters, and spectators, we raised $6,400 for affordable homeownership. Team “ABC’s: Rebuilding the Keys,” sponsored by First State Bank, took the title and Bee plaque with their win. Their word: prerogative. The 2nd place team “BPAS Me Another Beer,” sponsored by the City of Marathon, went out on the word ‘tchotchke.” Best Costume winners were “Bee-Block,” sponsored by Fishermen’s Community Hospital Baptist Health South Florida. This year, we had our first ever Marathon High School and Marathon Middle School student teams, and they did great! The middle school team even won Best Team Name for “A-B-Seas,” sponsored by Wolfe & Stevens Law Firm. Leadership Monroe County ruled over the Bee as the judges, Michael Shields, Chuck Licis, and Lynn Goodwin, and the enunciator, Dawn Stayor. Emcee Jason Koler was on his “A game” all night, too. Additional teams included 2nd Fishermen’s Team “Beverly Hill-Bees,” Iberiabank’s team “Iberiabank,” Coldwell Banker Schmitt’s team “Spelling Bee 52s,” the Keys Weekly’s team “The Malaphors,” “Word Nerds” sponsored by Marathon Chamber of Commerce, and the “Zonta Zebras” sponsored by Zonta. Thanks so much to our sponsor, Fishermen’s Community Hospital Baptist Health South Florida for another great year along with the support of the City of Key Colony Beach, Lt. Derek Paul, Centennial Bank with Melissa and Steve, FKAA with Sherry Alana, Keybilly Brewing, Overseas Pub & Grill, Karen Trujillo, St. Columba, Promotions Guy, and TV88. Also, thanks to all of the businesses who donated auction items. The money raised during this successful event will be used directly toward the building of four new affordable homes that should be completed in the next 5 months.

Spelling Bee

Spelling Bee

Spelling Bee

Spelling Bee

Spelling Bee

Habitat Middle Keys has been blessed with incredible supporters. We gratefully accepted a $25,000 grant from Ocean Reef Community Foundation Inc. for their Florida Keys Hurricane Response Fund. Thanks to this generous grant, Habitat Middle Keys is able to rebuild a home for a family whose home was completely destroyed by Hurricane Irma.

Ocean Reef Community Foundation

A big thank you to the Miami Dolphins Foundation and their generous grant of $25,000. The support of the Miami Dolphins Hurricane Relief Grant will be instrumental in the repair work in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma as the grant money will be used to assist with the cost of materials and supplies.

Habitat Middle Keys would also like to thank Wells Fargo for their generous grant of $10,000. This grant is going directly toward the building of 2 new duplexes in Marathon. Thank you Wells Fargo!

October 2018

Habitat Middle Keys is extremely honored to receive the Marathon Chamber of Commerce Humanitarian Award for 2018. At the banquet, Executive Director Chris Todd Young graciously received the award and shared that Habitat Middle Keys accepted the award “in spirit” with St. Columba Episcopal Church who was another nominee and is a partner with Habitat. St. Columba has been at the forefront of recovery since Hurricane Irma. They have truly done so much for so many and will continue to do so. “It takes an Island.”

Habitat Middle Keys was also voted “Best Non-Profit Organization” as part of the Best of Marathon Awards. Thanks to our Board of Directors, staff, and dedicated volunteers!

Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys receives disaster services grant to aid in Hurricane Irma recovery efforts

Marathon, Florida (August 15, 2018) – Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys has been granted a $20,000 disaster services grant from Habitat for Humanity and State Farm®. The grant will be used to build and repair homes as part of the Hurricane Irma recovery.

"Our island community was greatly affected by Hurricane Irma,” said Chris Todd Young, Habitat Middle Keys Executive Director. “We would like to thank Habitat for Humanity and StateFarm for the grant and their help as our community continues to recover.”

Habitat Middle Keys Irma Recovery Repairs and Critical Home Repair Program is an extension of our mission to build strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter. The program is intended to assist our community in rebuilding after Hurricane Irma. Repairs may include accessibility (repairing stairs, wheelchair ramps and new installs), drywall, insulation, doors, flooring, and other items to make the home safe and secure. Habitat works with volunteer groups, local youth (16 years and older) and young professional volunteers to accomplish this work. We mobilize two construction sites per week using 8 volunteers per day at each site. Our goal is to complete 200 repairs and build 20 new affordable homes over the next 3 years. To date since January 1st, 2018 we have completed 22 repairs with 15 in process and many pending applications in our pipeline.

“State Farm is pleased to support recovery efforts through this disaster services grant,” said Ed Woods, HR Director at State Farm. “As our mission is to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected, and realize their dreams, we hope this grant goes a long way in helping your community recover from this disaster.”
State Farm and Habitat for Humanity are providing up to $100,000 in grants for disaster recovery projects that engage youth. State Farm has been a supporter of Habitat for Humanity International's youth initiatives since 2007.

About Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys

Habitat Middle Keys began in 1991 and is part of a global, nonprofit housing organization operated on Christian principles that seeks to put God's love into action by building homes, communities and hope. We are a volunteer based locally run affiliate dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide. We believe that every man, woman and child deserve to have a simple, safe and affordable home to call their own.

About State Farm

The mission of State Farm is to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected, and realize their dreams. State Farm and its affiliates are the largest providers of auto and home insurance in the United States. Its nearly 19,000 agents and approximately 65,000 employees serve approximately 83 million policies and accounts – approximately 81 million auto, fire, life, health and commercial policies and approximately 2 million bank accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 36 on the 2018 Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit http://www.statefarm.com.

In addition to the generous grant, State Farm representatives joined our construction team on Thursday, November 1st. With the help of the State Farm volunteers, we were able to accomplish so much towards the rebuilding of Sandra’s stairs. Sandra is a longtime and beloved Marathon resident, and we’re so grateful for State Farm’s grant and their hardworking volunteers as they joined us in our repair work.


September 2018

We are so excited to finally have Gloria back home after all of the repairs to her home were completed at the end of August. Her home received significant damage due to Hurricane Irma, and our team of staff and dedicated volunteers worked tirelessly to make sure longtime Marathon resident, Gloria, was able to move back into a safe and bright home. Thank you to our incredible volunteers for helping to make this critical repair happen!



August 2018

As the one year anniversary of Hurricane Irma approaches, Habitat Middle Keys remains in the thick of critical home repairs. Last month, two Marathon residents were able to move back home after our team of staff and incredible volunteers worked tirelessly to repair their damaged homes. We continue to have some great groups of volunteers joining us. Volunteers from VMWare, the Ryan Nece Foundation, Led2Serve, and the Holy Sacrament Episcopal Church have joined us over the last couple of months. With lots of helping hands, we're truly able to make a difference in our Keys community. With so many critical repairs still needing completion, we are so thankful for the organizations that are continuing to recognize our need for support. Habitat Middle Keys is the grateful recipient of a very generous $20,000 grant from State Farm. With this grant, we will be able to engage more youth in our Critical Home Repair program.

We are also thrilled to have received a grant from the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys. Their amazing $16,000 grant will go directly toward labor costs needed to provide repairs to Middle Keys residents.

We are forever thankful for Bank of America for continuing to support our mission year after year. This year we received $2,500 to help fund our goals of creating affordable home ownership opportunities in the Middle Keys.

Lois, a Marathon resident for over 40 years, is finally back home after repairs were completed.

Carreen's home took a few months to repair, but she is finally back home.

Volunteers from VMWare Cloud Solutions

Volunteers from the Ryan Nece Foundation

Volunteers from Led2Serve

Volunteers from the Holy Sacrament Episcopal Church of Pembroke Pines, Florida

Board Treasurer Ben Roche, Board President Blair Shiver, Board Secretary Tammy Collins, Board Vice President John Johnson, and Board of Director Matt Bussard receiving the grant from Bank of America

April & May 2018

Volunteer groups have been generously donating their time to help with critical home repairs throughout the Middle Keys. In early April, we were happy to host several hardworking women from the Florida Chapter of RVing Women. Then in Mid-May we were joined by a group from Tourism Cares. At the end of May, we had 18 rising Juniors and three educators from Gill St. Bernard’s School in New Jersey working at three different homes for a whole week. On top of all of the volunteers traveling to lend a helping hand from out of state, locals have stepped up to the plate to schedule regular volunteer days. The U.S. Coast Guard Station Marathon has committed to sending volunteers the first Thursday of every month, and we have received commitments from other groups as well. We can always use more hands, but it’s great to have so many people giving their time to help with critical home repairs.

The 12th Annual Mother’s Day Dolphin Tournament was a huge success. A big thank you to all of our sponsors and congratulations to all of the anglers that participated. We are proud to report that $45,000 was raised for Habitat Middle Keys. Thanks to all of the volunteers that helped to make this year’s tournament such a success!

Volunteers from the U.S. Coast Guard Station Marathon

Volunteers from Gill St. Bernard’s School presenting their generous $1800 donation to Habitat Middle Keys

Lady Angler winner Bev Sebree accepting her award at the 2018 Mother’s Day Dolphin Tournament

March 2018

Since Hurricane Irma hit 6 months ago, Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys completed over 20 disaster repairs with over 20 more in the works. Helping our neighbors get back home after the storm rolled through is our top priority these days. We’ve been blessed with various volunteer groups stepping in to help us get the work done. Students from Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Catholic School in Tyler, Texas spent five straight days at our construction sites. We’re grateful for all of our volunteers’ hard work and dedication, and our goal of completing 200 critical home repairs through year 2020 would not be possible without others’ generosity. This month we were also notified that our affiliate is the recipient of an amazing grant from The Miami Foundation. With this grant, we will be able to purchase construction materials for at least eight disaster repair projects.

February 2018

Our very own Family Services Manager, Meghan, was the guest speaker at the February Marathon Chamber of Commerce Luncheon. She beautifully spread the word about our Critical Home Repair program. This month we were excited to add 8 homes to the number of families we helped with their post-Irma repairs. A huge thank you to The Upper Keys Rotary Club!!!! Habitat Middle Keys can't thank you enough for the generous grant that will support our #HabitatHammersBack program. Thanks to their generosity, we can continue to provide Critical Home Repairs to our neighbors. Our Keys community is amazing!

Habitat Middle Keys Executive Director with members from other wonderful Keys organizations

January 2018

2018 is off to a busy but great start thanks to our generous and STRONG community. Publix granted Habitat Middle Keys an incredible donation of $80,000 specifically to contribute and assist in our Hurricane Irma repairs goals and partial house sponsorship. And a big thank you to United Way of the Florida Keys! Their wonderfully generous grant of $10,000 for our #HabitatHammersBack program makes a huge impact on Habitat’s Critical Home Repairs. In fact, in the month of January we had 7 projects in the works. We would never be able to help so many families repair their homes after Hurricane Irma without the help of others, like Publix and United Way of the Florida Keys, in our tightknit community.

With so many projects underway as we move forward with the Critical Home Repair program, our team is growing! We’re excited to welcome Jim Marshall as the Construction Manager, Neil Tweardy as the Disaster Recovery Coordinator, and Jess D’Ascanio as the Administrative Manager. 2018 is sure to be a dynamic year!

December 2017

The Wells Fargo Team presents Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys a most gracious donation of $8,000 to help us build new affordable homes and support our post irma recovery efforts. This donation is such a blessing—presented on Dec. 6th while we all attended the community day event at Wells Fargo's Mobile Response Unit (MRU) that has been set up in Marathon, FL as they continue to assist customers with recovery. Wells Fargo Mobile Response Unit is a multi-functional, 75-ft. heavy-duty commercial vehicle created to assist customers impacted by a disaster. Best described as an "office on wheels," the Mobile Response Unit is designed to bring answers and valuable information directly to the communities Wells Fargo serves regarding how to begin the personal recovery and rebuilding process. It has multiple private offices, computers, cellular data feed with satellite backup and is powered by self-contained generators.

November 2017

The Community Foundation of the Florida Keys Emergency Relief Fund granted over $150,000 to local non-profits at the Marathon Chamber of Commerce November Luncheon. Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys received $5,000 of this grant to assist in #HabitatHammersBack Critical Repair Program to rebuild our community.

November 2017

Thank you Marathon friends and neighbors!!! We are humbled and honored to be voted as the Best Non-Profit Organization in the fabulous Middle Keys. We will make you proud as we begin repairing and rebuilding our island.

#HabitatHammersBack #HabitatFlorida #HabitatMiddleKeys

And a HUGE thank you to The Keys Weekly and Marathon Rotary for presenting such a great event and to the sponsors who help make it happen: FKEC, PromotionsGuy.com, Keys FCU, Bishop Rosasco & Co., and Gonzalez Landscaping.


October 2017


The outpouring of companies and individuals reaching out with monetary donations to our community, to help with rebuilding has been amazing!!!

Habitat is so grateful to Reeves Construction/SouthEast Emulsions. They came to visit with a gracious and most wonderful $1500 donation to our Middle Keys affiliate. This money will be used 100% towards the rebuilding in the Middle Keys—the Heart of the Florida Keys. Pictured: Chris Todd Young, Exec Director of Habitat and Michael Burdette of SouthEast Emulsions.

Reeves Construction Company

June 2017

Bank of America supports affordable home ownership in Marathon, Florida with a generous donation of $2500.

Bank of America

June 2017

Home Dedication Ceremony to celebrate our newest home owners, honor our commitment to building and creating affordable home ownership on our island and thank the people and companies that help make our mission come true.

Home Dedication Ceremony

June 2017

These wonderful companies sponsored the build of these homes through the Community Contribution Tax Credit Program.



Royal Furniture

Faro Blanco

June 2017 Summer Solstice

Thank you to Island Yoga and Glunz Ocean Beach Hotel and Resort for hosting a wonderful fundraising event for Habitat.

Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice

Easter 2017 Bagging

Board Directors and volunteers joined in, ears and all, to bag groceries for donations at Publix Marathon, Florida.

Summer Solstice

January 2017


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 [email protected]. 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 [email protected]. 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


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).


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

For Habitat Scoop articles from 2015 and earlier, click here.

For recent Habitat Scoop articles, click here.