“That build was the living embodiment of girl power!” Kheli R. Willetts says, “More than 25 professional women ranging in age from early 20s to late 70s, joined forces and hearts to build a house with love.” Willets is a past volunteer that joined us on site, with her professional women’s organization, to help in our Women Build on Gifford Street. Women Build is a program that encourage women to lend their talents in building a Habitat house, while also facilitating empowerment between them. This program grew out of Habitat’s desire to create a more inclusive space where women, of all walks of life, can work together in uplifting each other through their participating in building affordable and decent homes.
This past May, we celebrated our 14th annual Mr. Habitat fundraising event at the Drumlins Country Club. Not only is Mr. Habitat our most anticipated event of the year, but also the force that keeps Women Build running and helping more women, like Willets, feel the presence of girl power. With a little over a hundred guests, dozens of auction items, eleven outstanding, and might we add, handsome male contestants, Mr. Habitat raised $12,127.38 in support of Women Build. Those funds will go towards the next Women Build project, which we except to start building in the near future.
In addition to raising funds for a new build, we crowned Bryan Perry as the 2018 Mr. Habitat. Perry is a full time employee at Carrier Corporation, but also works part-time, at Core Fitness, as a personal trainer. He is currently involved in Honor Flight Syracuse and pursuing his MBA at the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University. We send our 2018 Mr. Habitat the best wishes in all his pursuits.
Lastly, this event would not have been possible without an enormous group of people, whom we want to thank and highlight.
First, thank you to our Mr. Habitat Committee:
Aaron Santangelo, Betsy Bernardin, Lisa Palleschi, Michael Leone, Sarah Allen, Sarah Barnard, Scott Farnett, Sean Eaton, Suzanne Williams, Whitney Garcia, and the ESF/SU Habitat Chapter.
A heartfelt thank you to our sponsors:
Wegmans; Firley, Moran, Freer & Eassa, CPA, P.C.; Home Builders & Remodelers of CNY; Geddes Federal Savings; and King and King Architects; TKB Photography; and Mike Frisina (audio services).
A special thanks to our talented music performers: Sadie Fridley, Brian Hurry, and Russell Dobbins.
Last, but not least, thank you to all our contestants:
Al Cutri, Bryan Perry, Curtis Chaplin, Clark Fields, Dan Romeo, John Hornbarger, Michael Leone, Noel Baker, Patrick Penfield, Robert Miller, and Richard D’Amico. We wish all of you the best!
 Willetts, Kheli R. “Homes build with love and plenty of ‘girl power’.” The Post Standard. Web. 6 June 2018.