This past Sunday, Habitat President Cince Bowns led the official
ceremony that in the end led to the presentation of the house keys
to Brown. Bowns welcomed all in attendance and introduced city
officials on hand for the ceremony; Mayor Marty Neitzel, Alderwoman
to Ward 2 where the home is located, Kathy Horn, and also Ward 3
Alderwoman Jonie Tibbs.
Neitzel addressed the group briefly, noting that the community, on
the whole, was made better through the work of the Habitat for
Humanity. She said that when Habitat builds a home for a family, it
not only provides that family with a great new place to live, but it
removes the potential for neglected properties in the city and makes
the city of Lincoln a better place to live.
Spud Newhouse came forward to share moments about the house
construction. As the Co-foreman of the project with Tom Frost, he
thanked all of those who gave of their time and talents to make this
home building project run smoothly.
Habitat Board Member Mitzi Rohlfs came forward to present to Brown
and her grandchildren the Habitat Book. This book is given to every
new homeowner, a gift from the Habitat Organization. Rohlfs spoke to
and about Linda, remembering her personal relationship with Linda
began when Rohlfs was an employee of the Community Action Agency in
Lincoln, working in the Head Start Program. She commented on how
nice it had been to renew this long time friendship with Linda and
how good it was to be able to participate in the house blessing
ceremony for Linda and her family.
It is a tradition that at each house blessing, the family is given a
family Bible. That presentation was made by Leonard Krusemark, a
member of the HFH board, and the one responsible for the donation.
He spoke about the importance of bringing God into this new home and
allowing Him, through his word to lead and protect the family moving
For this blessing, special music was performed by the Music Makers
of St. John United Church of Christ, led by Darlene Begolka. The
three children played two gospel hymns on their chimes. Afterward,
Begolka explained that at the summer Vacation Bible School program
this year the theme was “Serve.” She said the participating children
had paid a visit to the Habitat building site, had gotten to know
Linda and had even driven a nail or two in the new home. She said
they formed a special bond with Linda and with the home being built.
As a result, they were very happy to be able to come and participate
in this particular home blessing and had also brought a housewarming
gift for the Brown family.
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Ed Tibbits of His Hands Outreach was called upon to read Scripture. He also
presented Brown with a plaque to hang on the wall of her new home. He would
later return to deliver the benediction for the day. At the groundbreaking in
March, Tibbits explained that Browns grandchildren participate in some of the
activities held at the community center, just around the corner. Brown had asked
that he be a part of the Habitat groundbreaking and the eventual home blessing,
because of his relationship with her grandchildren.
As the ceremony began to wind down, Bowns was left to present the keys to the
new home to Brown. She commented that she and Linda had known each other since
Junior High School, and it was a great pleasure and honor to be the one to hand
over the keys, welcoming Linda, Terry, Destiny and Donathan into their new home.
The day ended with a group reading of the poem/song "Bless this House."
After the keys had been presented, all guests were invited to come into the
home, take a tour, and enjoy cookies and lemonade.
The house is a three bedroom, one bath home with an open floor plan kitchen,
dining and living area. It comes complete with kitchen appliances and a washer
and dryer. The bedrooms are spacious with a larger room that will be shared by
the two boys and separate bedrooms for Linda and Destiny. The home has a nice
front and back yard area as well as a small storage building for lawn tools and
The groundbreaking for the home was held in March of this year. Also this year,
a second build was started with a groundbreaking in September. During the Sunday
home blessing, project number 21 was mentioned as in progress with the Lincoln
Technical Education Center Building and Trades program being involved in the
construction of the home. The students will work on the home throughout this
school year, with the anticipated completion date to be next spring.