Funds raised by Habitat for Humanity of Washington DC (DC Habitat) at its “Raising the Roof” 25th anniversary celebration brought the non-profit housing developer within $55,000 of reaching its $1 million dollar goal. “The anniversary campaign will continue through the end of December, and we’re going to press hard to reach the $1 million mark,” said DC Habitat President & CEO Susanne Slater.
Emmy-award winning ABC 7 News Senior Political Reporter Scott Thuman served as the event emcee, using humor to encourage attendees to contribute to the fight against poverty housing by donating on-site using pledge cards. “I can’t thank Scott enough,” said Slater. “He really helped get the ball rolling with donations.”
While the event had all of the trappings of a typical Washington gala —powerful people, an elegant setting, and fine dining — the atmosphere of the event was as cordial as a neighborhood gathering. “This evening’s turnout illustrates what an impact we can have when we come together as a community to work together toward common goals,” said Slater. “I’m touched and impressed by the level of support we’ve received from local DC leaders and tonight’s title sponsors, PenFed Credit Union and Valspar.”
PenFed President and CEO, James Schenck’s presentation poignantly pointed out that when an American is without the comfort and security of stable housing, he or she may see the American Dream as unattainable. Because of PenFed’s military membership base, Schenck was especially drawn in by the remarks made by U.S. Army veteran and Habitat homeowner Ken Harris. “I was particularly moved by the remarks Ken Harris delivered. His two-decade-plus climb out of homelessness illustrates both the impact and the importance of Habitat for Humanity of Washington, DC’s work.”
The anniversary comes at a time when affordable housing in the District is increasingly scarce and the city risks losing its vibrant diversity. DC Habitat has been working to build homes that are not only affordable, but also sustainable, and the organization used the event as a platform to honor three
extraordinary leaders — Sheila Johnson, Joel Towers, and Dee MacDonald-Miller — for their commitment to affordable, energy-efficient housing.
“As Habitat for Humanity’s national paint partner, Valspar looks forward to helping the DC team in 2015 to transform many houses into homes,” said Kimberly A. Welch, Vice President of Communications and Chair of the Valspar Foundation.