breaks ground on Mount Pulaski home
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Maddy, Hannah and Brady Skaggs break ground. Maddy and Brady are
cousins of Dawn)
[March 24, 2009]
PULASKI -- "It's a beautiful day!" Not the kind of greeting most
people would have expected at an outdoor ceremony on a drizzling,
overcast Sunday afternoon. But everyone in attendance could echo the
sentiment. It was a beautiful day for the groundbreaking of the
newest Logan County Habitat for Humanity home, the third in Mount
Pulaski and the 13th for Logan County. And it was Tonita "Toni"
Reifsteck, president of the Logan County chapter, who began the
ceremony with those words, standing on a tree stump in a slight
drizzle. But the weather had little impact on the 20 to 30 people
who gathered to commit their efforts to the project before them.
Dawn and Hannah Skaggs are the proud
new homeowners at 511 S. Lafayette St. in Mount Pulaski. Of course,
the property currently boasts a mere hole in the ground, surrounded
by freshly poured concrete footings and basement walls. But the
really hard work for Skaggs is just beginning. While Ms. Reifsteck
boasts that Dawn has most likely already put in the 250 total
required number of service hours, Dawn knows there will be at least
100 hours spent on the work for her new home.
"I learned about
Habitat for Humanity from Teena Lowery, who got George Dahmm to give
me more information and get me involved," Dawn said. "I spent most
of my working hours so far on Dawn Ferguson's home in Lincoln."
Those approved for the program must provide a down payment of
$500 and pay a monthly mortgage payment. In addition, they must work
at least 250 hours of volunteer time, including 100 hours on their
Also attending the groundbreaking was homeowner Adam Cheatham,
who has been through the Habitat program.
Family members were there as well, and all turned a spade of
dirt. Grandmother, mother, father, aunt and sister … even Dawn's
niece and nephew picked up shovels.
"The best thing is that the property is right next to her mom's
(Jo Skaggs') house," Dawn's aunt said.
Mayor Bill Glaze also participated and mentioned that he is
working on finding a site for another Habitat home. "This is a great
thing to come to our community," he said. "We need more."
In addition, he announced that the city would be helping with
more than just donating the land. "We have a group of kids from FFA
coming out to help in exchange for a donation from the city," he
said. "The city will pull the stumps in front and put in a
Habitat board members turn a shovel.
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Reifsteck remarked that the blessing on the house, typically
scheduled near completion day, will happen but will not be announced
until closer to the time. "We don't set dates like that," she
smiled. "Too many things can happen to delay it. Let's just say, it
will be before snowfall!"
Allen Shew, treasurer for the group, announced that the work will
begin in April, running every Friday and Saturday as long as it
takes. He welcomes volunteers and encourages them to call him so he
can arrange work. His daytime phone number is 217-732-4605 and the
evening number is 217-732-6488.
"If you've noticed that this house is number 13, don't worry,"
Shew joked. "We're calling it number 12 15/16." (That is contractor
humor. If you don't get it, you might want to visit the local
lumberyard and ask how big a two-by-four is.)
In addition to manual labor, Habitat
could use additional help with the following:
Donate food for
professional skills such as architectural, legal, financial,
technical and public relations.
Run errands during
Help on-site with
cleanup and painting.
Donate money for
Help with fundraising activities.
[By JO HILLIARD]
For more information on Habitat for Humanity, call 217-732-6412