Habitat to put on winter dinner

FAIRMONT — Habitat for Humanity of Martin and Faribault Counties is putting on a Winter Celebration Dinner on Saturday, Feb. 16. This is the second year that the organization is putting on the dinner as a fundraiser.

Habitat for Humanity partners with people in a local community and all over the world to help them build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage.

“We had it last year and it went really well, Staci Thompson said of the Winter Dinner. Thompson is the executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Martin and Faribault counties. “We have a really big live and silent auction planned this year.”

Some of the items in the live and silent auction include theater passes to Okoboji Summer Theater, tickets to the Mankato Symphony, tickets to a St. Paul Saints game, Arnold’s Park season passes, Cheesecake Factory gift card, packages to a variety of casinos and much more.

Money raised from the dinner will go toward several objects that the organization is currently working on.

“We’re working on finishing our big house on North Orient Street. We hope to be done with that by the end of March and then this spring, we had the good fortune of having John Thate donate two houses to us and then we also got a grant from the Schmeeckle Foundation to pay for half of the moving and foundation costs but we still have to raise money for the other half so we really need support and for people to come to the dinner and have a good time,” Thompson said.

Other programs through the organization include A Brush With Kindness, which focuses on exterior fixups for low-income homeowners. They also have a Home Repair Program.

“We will be painting a house in Truman for a family this spring and also a home for a family in Bricelyn,” Thomson said, adding that they’re looking for applicants for the repair program.

Right now, Thompson said that Habitat has a good core of just 15 volunteers across Martin and Faribault counties, but in order to get projects done quicker, they definitely need more volunteers.

“We’re really looking for groups of people. 3M came last fall and I was stunned with how much work they got done in one day. It was amazing,” Thompson admitted.

Thompson said about 40 people attended the dinner last year but she’d like to see about 60 this year.

“It’s just a fun evening. We’ll have a homeowner come and talk about what being a homeowner in Habitat means to them and that really lets people put a face to where their money is going. A video will also play with highlights from the previous year,” Thomson explained.

The dinner will take place at Interlaken Golf Club. Tickets are $75 and $25 of it covers the meal and gratuity and the other $50 is a direct donation to Habitat for Humanity.

The event starts with social hour from 5:30-6:30 p.m. and dinner will be served at 6:30 and after dessert, the program will start with a video and speaker. The silent auction will close around 8 and then the live auction will begin.

Thompson said they sent out over 200 invitations to donor, vendors, Chamber members and Interlake members but it’s open to anyone who wants to come. She would like people to send in their RSVPs by the 9th of February or give her a call at 526-2600. Thompson stressed that just because you didn’t get an invitation doesn’t mean you’re not welcome.

“I really encourage people to come, even if they don’t know anything about Habitat. They’ll really get something out of it and they’ll really have a great time,” Thompson said.