Bradenton, Florida (Monday, May 14, 2018) – Manatee County Habitat for Humanity will be dedicating two new homes in Bradenton on Saturday, May 19 at 12 noon. The two homes are located side by side at 1013 and 1017 17th Ave. West at 11th St. West on what was a vacant corner lot.
“The thing I treasure about a dedication is that it brings together the community that made this happen,” said Diana Shoemaker, Executive Director of Manatee County Habitat for Humanity. The dedication ceremony will recognize the Habitat families that will become first time homeowners in the presence of their friends, families, fellow volunteers, sponsors and Habitat staff and board members. It will last approximately one hour. All are welcome to attend.
Willie Sandifer will become the Habitat homeowner at 1017 17th Ave. W. She, along with her daughter and her two grandchildren, are looking forward to having a home of their own. An employee for Manatee County Rural Health Services, Willie is helping raise her two grandchildren. In her view, “Habitat home ownership, for the first time in our lives, empowers us to attain the American dream. Habitat also inspires us to empower others with the ability and skills to do the same.”
Jackie Melendez, a mother of two, will become her neighbor at 1013 17th Ave. W. Jackie has worked for Mariner Financial for 14 years and is looking forward to leaving renting behind and becoming a homeowner. She says her Habitat home is much more than mere shelter. “It tells the story of who we are and a collection of what we love brought together under one roof,” Jackie said.
Willie and Jackie have been in the Habitat home buyer program for nearly two years working on the homes of other Habitat home buyers and each other’s homes, for the last six months. They have completed all the requirements to purchase their homes including over 300 hours of “sweat equity”, financial literacy, and homeownership classes. They will purchase their homes and receive a zero interest mortgage from Manatee County Habitat for Humanity.
Sponsors who provided funding for the construction of the houses will be attending the dedication. Boar’s Head Brand will be there to congratulate Willie Sandifer and provide Boar’s Head Frankfurters for all the attendees.
“We’re honored to dedicate a home this weekend to Willie and her family. This project has been an incredible opportunity for our team members to join efforts with Willie and other Habitat for Humanity volunteers to support our community,” said Boar’s Head Brand President Mike Martella. This is the third Habitat house Boar’s Head Brand has sponsored. Employees have donated over 600 hours to build these homes.
Sun Hydraulics, LLC is the home sponsor of Jackie Melendez’s house and they have donated nearly 200 hours of volunteer labor in addition to their home sponsorship. “Sun Hydraulics is proud to have the opportunity to partner with Habitat for Humanity once again to help this community-driven organization make such an impact on this family’s life. It has been a great pleasure to work alongside Jackie and other volunteers to make this home a reality,” said Mike Sheppard, of Sun Hydraulics.
Carpenter Contractors of America made a large donation of material and labor to Manatee Habitat for the construction of one of the houses. They planned a Commemorative Build Day in January in memory of their 30-year colleague and friend, Jeff Pfeifer. The company donated all the lumber used in the house and the roof trusses. CCA employees did the installation in one day.
Manatee Literacy Council has been engaged presenting books at all Manatee Habitat home dedications since 2016. Roger Boos, President of Manatee Literacy Council, a non-profit partner of Manatee Habitat for Humanity, will present age appropriate books to all family members at the dedication ceremony.
Manatee Habitat has built six new homes in this neighborhood near Village of the Arts in the last two years. Community Development Block Grant funds from the City of Bradenton was used to purchase the vacant lots to build new homes. Publix Super Markets Charities also provided a grant to help build the homes.
top: Boar's Head Brand employees at the job site in Bradenton; top middle: Greg Wiezbach (l) and Mike Clough (r) on the job from Boar's Head; bottom middle: Carpenter Contractors Commemorative Build for Jeff Pfeifer; bottom: Steve Spergl, owner Gulf Stream Provision, proud purveyor of Boar's Head Brand