Tickets to 'Raise the Roof for Habitat' now available

Staff Writer

The Episcopal Church of the Incarnation and the West Point Rotary Club are joining together to sponsor a Wine and Cheese Tasting event, to benefit Habitat for Humanity.
The event is 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 14 at the Episcopal Church. Tickets are a donation of $25 each and $20 of the donation is tax deductible.

"People can buy tickets from me or from any member of the Rotary Club," Dawn Wilbourne of Habitat for Humanity said. "We chose the theme 'Raise the Roof' this year. We will be partnering with Pearlie Westbrooks as the new homeowner."
Wilbourne said Westbrooks is a graduate of Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama. She began teaching in the West Point School District in 1983.

"She taught seventh and eighth grades at Fifth Street Junior High," Wilbourne said. "And she taught high school English at West Point High School. She was with the G.E.D. program and retired in 2005. Pearlie Westbrooks has done a lot for this community. We want to help her."
Wilbourne said a Habitat home is not a free house. She said the homeowner helps with the building, investing "sweat equity" into the home. They are given an 30-year interest-free loan, but the cost of homeowners insurance, property taxes, utilities and upkeep is paid by the homeowner.

"This is a hand up, not a hand out," Wilbourne said. "We don't give away houses, and the people we build for have to qualify for us to consider them. They also participate in the build."
Wilbourne said the goal of Habitat for Humanity in West Point is to build a house each year. Habitat sponsors Woman Build, and Brush With Kindness.

"Woman Build is a partnership with Lowe's," Wilbourne said. "We have women who came to help build a house with the help of Lowe's donating the tools and the supplies. They teach women to use power tools. Not everyone who gets married, stays that way. Sometimes husbands leave or die. Women need to know how to use tools and fix things themselves. Woman Build not only provides that opportunity, but they can be part of building a Habitat Home for someone. It's a win-win."

Rev. Lynn Ronaldi, priest of the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation said this is the second time for the church to partner with the Rotary Club for a Wine and Cheese Tasting event.
"We have a real heart for Habitat for Humanity here at the Episcopal Church," Ronaldi said. "There have been two houses raised in the past three years that the church has been a part of the fundraising. Our men's group have already raised a substantial sum toward this home. We are more than pleased to host the event."

Wilbourne said the people who are helped by Habitat for Humanity, live here, work here, go to church, and are active in the community.
"We want to help these people know the pride of homeownership," Wilbourne said. "These are wonderful people and we are glad to be able to help them to help themselves."