Habitat for Humanity Quad Cities continued celebrating its 30th year of building affordable housing across the region as it hosted the 2023 Mr. and Mrs. Habitat fundraiser at the Isle Casino Hotel in Bettendorf.
More than 230 people gathered for food and fun Saturday, Oct. 14, as the annual event raised nearly $65,000 to support the local Habitat’s operations and its various housing programs.
While the evening’s fundraising fell slightly short of the $70,000 goal, Habitat Executive Director Tom Fisher-King said his team considered the event a huge success.
“These funds will continue the important mission of Habitat – building safe, decent, and affordable housing in the Quad Cities,” he said in a news release this week announcing the fundraising results.
The event – the Davenport-based nonprofit’s largest fundraiser – drew business leaders, sponsors, supporters, and some of its loyal volunteers together to support Habitat’s mission of building affordable homes to help low-income families realize their dream of homeownership.
This year, Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial and American Bank & Trust were the presenting sponsors. Other sponsors included: 3M, gold hammer sponsor; and IMEG, silver hammer sponsor.
Dozens of supporting banks, area businesses, and individual supporters were among the evening’s attendees and enjoyed heavy appetizers, drinks, games, a raffle, and a silent auction. The games included a Home is Key game and a Habitat Dream Houses game. Attendees bought one or more tiny houses made of paper. The houses were made by longtime Habitat volunteers Belinda Holbrook and Nancy Foster (also ReStore co-founder). Inside each of the 134 houses – one representing each Quad Cities home built in the past 30 years by Habitat – was a prize with one grand prize awarded.
Laughter on the menu
Entertainment was provided by Knock, Knock, Who’s there? Comedy, a 501c3 organization founded by Brian Farrell, a local comedian with a brain injury. He was joined by four other comedians who kept the crowd laughing in between spotlighting the important work of Habitat. During the program, guests viewed videos detailing the organization’s accomplishments over the past year as well as video testimonials from Habitat families.
Per the event’s tradition, Habitat crowns a winner in the annual contest for Mr. or Ms. Habitat. The contestants are champions for the organization and agree to participate in fundraising efforts. The title goes to the person who raises the most money.
This year’s winner was Linda Creighton, a Habitat homeowner and an advocate for the nonprofit. She was presented with a crown, cape, scepter and bouquet as Ms. Habitat. The virtual contenders included Jennifer Fite, Elizabeth Thompson, Mary Vaniseghem, Melissa Coleman and the first husband and wife team of Scott and Amy Sisul.
Mr. Fisher-King told the crowd the event marked “Thirty years of making a difference” in the lives of Quad Citians.
In addition to its home-building services, Habitat also operates Restore, which opened in 2003, and Restore Health & Home, which began in 2012. Together, he said the two operations have saved a combined 8,000 tons of materials to date from going to the landfill.
Habitat will dedicate eight homes this year bringing its total to 134 affordable homes built since 1993. In addition, Habitat has completed more than 70 home repairs and more than 75 accessibility ramps. The organization also recently launched a new home repair program in central Davenport.
For more information on Habitats programs or on volunteering, donating and shopping at ReStore and Health and Home, visit www.habitatqc.org.