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Goal of $60,000 hoped for during 20th annual Habitat Dinner Auction

April 06, 2013|By ALICIA NOTARIANNI | alnotarianni@aol.com
  • Pam and Craig Mohn of Williamsport look through the silent auction items at the 20th annual Habitat for Humanity of Washington County Dinner-Auction Saturday. This year the theme celebrates the roaring 20's.
Colleen McGrath / Colleen McGrath

Habitat for Humanity of Washington County celebrated its 20th annual Habitat Dinner Auction on Saturday at Hagerstown Community College’s Athletic, Recreation and Community Center.

Habitat Development Director Becca Burford said the group chose a theme of “Revive the Roaring ’20s” to “tie in” the 20th anniversary of the event.

About 400 people paid $45 per ticket to attend the casually festive fundraiser. Burford said she hoped it would raise around $60,000.

Though many attendees opted not to dress befitting the theme, those who did went full-tilt ’20s.

Drs. Albert and Kelli Strauss were among the gleefully garbed, sporting 10-year-old Halloween costumes. Kelli Strauss wore a fire engine-red fringed flapper dress, boa, headband and fishnets, while her husband swagged up a pin-striped gangster suit with a fedora, spats and a cigar.

“It’s fun to dress up,” Albert Strauss said. “When else can you? It’s hard dressing up like this during the week. People look at you funny.”

Habitat is a volunteer based, donation-driven organization with a mission to provide safe, decent and affordable homes for low-income families in need by partnering with them in the homeownership process.

Cassandra Latimer, president of the group’s board of directors, said Habitat has shifted in the past year toward rehabilitating homes in addition to building them.

“With rehabbing, we can leverage dollars further,” she said. “With raw land becoming more scarce and more expensive, it can be much more economical for us to purchase and renovate. The idea is to move more families, more quickly, into more homes.”

Dean and Michelle Brammer, 46 and 38, of Hagerstown, attended the dinner auction with their daughter, Sammy, 12. The family has volunteered with Habitat.

“I’d heard of Habitat and always thought you would have to go to a different community to be involved,” Dean Brammer said. “I was amazed to realize we have the opportunity right here in our own community.”

Elaine Frick, 43, of Smithsburg, worked with Habitat to build a home for herself and her son, who is 8. Frick volunteered, doing registration and checkout at the dinner auction.

“I can’t wait to get home every day and be in the house. I love it,” she said. “Even my son helped build it and he remembers that. It’s an amazing thing.”

Charles Morgan, 47, also lives in a Habitat home with his wife, Tracey, and his children.

“We will contribute to this organization probably until we die,” he said. “It’s a lot of good, kind, giving people. These are the grass roots of caring and sharing.”

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