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Tue, Aug. 03

Building dreams one home at a time
Williams Habitat for Humanity ready to complete second home

Ryan Williams/WGCN<br>
Williams Habitat for Humanity volunteers Bud Parenteau, Ruth Sanzari and Phil Sanzari stand in front of a house the local chapter is close to completing at 412 E. Edison Ave.

Ryan Williams/WGCN<br> Williams Habitat for Humanity volunteers Bud Parenteau, Ruth Sanzari and Phil Sanzari stand in front of a house the local chapter is close to completing at 412 E. Edison Ave.

WILLIAMS, Ariz. - In about two months, another fortunate Williams family will walk through the door of their new house, courtesy of the Williams local chapter of Habitat for Humanity.

Habitat for Humanity Volunteer Bud Parenteau said the group, which consists of around 100 volunteers, hopes to finish the house around the same time they choose from the nine applicants.

"We give recipients the house at a low interest rate at around one or two percent which you can spread over a 38 year period," he said. "On a $120,000 house, the mortgage payment is going to run about $350 a month, which is pretty darn cheap."

With the help of local contractors, Habitat for Humanity can build these houses at a discounted price. Without their assistance, Parenteau said they wouldn't be able to do what they do.

"We recently received funding from the government to help us do that," he said. "We actually spend the money to build the house and then they reimburse us."

The reimbursement is helping the local Habitat chapter pick up steam, so much so that Parenteau predicts they will be able to continue building every six months, given land availability.

The final figure Habitat spends on the house determines what the mortgage will be.

"One of the goals of Habitat is to try to help get people who live in low-income housing the opportunity to get out of city housing and becoming self-sustaining citizens," Parenteau added.

Their golf tournament at Elephant Rocks, which has been a regular event for Habitat for nine years, has been their most successful fundraiser. The annual tournament secured the finances for the first house they built, and, for Parenteau, created lasting memories when they finally handed over the keys to the recipient.

"I remember when she opened the door, we had two brand new bicycles waiting for her kids. It was just amazing to see her face. We had people wanting to donate even after the house was finished. People kept asking what they could do to help, and that is the rewarding part of all this to me," Parenteau said.

In order to qualify for a house, Habitat asks that the recipient put in his or her own split equity by contributing 500 hours of work on the house. That could either be assisting with the painting or supplying lemonade to the workers.

"That sounds like a lot, but the recipient of the house can get family and friends to split up the hours," Parenteau said.

For more information about your local Habitat for Humanity chapter, call (928) 635-4393.

Opry night

It will soon be time to head to the Williams Rodeo Barn for a night of lighthearted fun at Grand Opry Night, one of Williams Habitat for Humanity's main fundraising events. The always-entertaining semi-annual evening of music and family entertainment takes place April 20 from 6:30-9 p.m. at the corner of Airport and Rodeo Road.

Event organizer Ruth Sanzari said it is great to see new faces at the event.

"We are thankful for the new people who come to enjoy the music by our local musicians," she said. "The Opry Band includes Jan Bardwell, Debi Campbell, Lois Ann Dick, Greg Mendonca and Phil Sanzari."

The evening will also feature musicians Katie Wamble, the Hamby family, Ivy Mendonca, Robert Symth, as well as comedic contributions from Andy McDaniel. Pamelia LaPaglia will emcee the event and sing the "Tennessee Waltz" for the crowd.

"The Opry Night gets the Habitat for Humanity name out there and is where we can talk to people about what we do and meet people," Parenteau said. "It's just a fun night all around,"

Opry-goers are encouraged to come early to look over all the raffle and auction items up for bid. Items up for auction and raffle include, jewelry, tools, an Absolute Fitness membership, tickets to see the Grand Canyon by air, two casino resort nights in Laughlin and train tickets, among many others. Raffle tickets are $1 each or six for $5.

Sanzari said the evening is a wonderful time to visit with friends, enjoy the ever-popular cakewalk, eat hot dogs and enjoy all the free popcorn you might desire.

Entrance to Opry Night is $6 per adult and $3 for seniors and students. Families of four are $15 and tickets are available at the door. All proceeds from the night will benefit the Williams Habitat for Humanity chapter.

For more information, or to donate an item for raffle or auction, call Sanzari at (928) 635-0386.

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