Rutherford County Area Habitat for Humanity (RCHFH) celebrated the 3rd Annual Leave A Legacy Breakfast this past Friday. March 17, with the premiere of a new video “Strength, Stability, Self-Reliance and Shelter”, and the annual Impact & Legacy Award presented to Richard Luneack.
Luneack has been involved with RCHFH for over 10 years as a member of the Board of Directors, as the founder of RCHFH’s annual Hammer Down for Habitat Poker Run motorcycle event, and as a dedicated construction volunteer as well as a popular participant in the annual Cookin’ to Build event. As an employee of Fluor, a construction division of General Mills, Richard also leads a crew of co-workers to build yard sheds for each Habitat Homeowner – 85 sheds so far. As RCHFH Executive Director, Terri Shultz, stated, “Richard’s fund-raising efforts have resulted in over a quarter million dollars in money and in-kind donations and an unlimited number of Habitat house builds and repair projects!”
“I’m in it for the homeowners. I’m in it for the people who want to help themselves,” Richard stated as he accepted the award. “That’s why I’m such a firm believer and supporter of this organization.” He went on to recount several builds and the camaraderie of working with his fellow co-workers and the Habitat homeowners. “It’s the smiles on the people’s faces, especially the kids. And I watch them at the dedications, so excited that they have their own rooms, their own house, their own yard. That’s what continues to build me up. That’s what makes me do what I can.”
The “Strength, Stability, Self-Reliance and Shelter” video was produced by Karl Huber and Lasting Image Productions (http://lastingimagepro.com) and features moving testimonials from four Habitat homeowners: Shari, Shelley, Kathy and Andrew. The video can be seen at https://youtu.be/fIEA1tGN0sQ.
Shari’s house is sponsored by Publix Super Market Charities and will be built April 19 – June 14.Shelley’s house was sponsored by Schneider Electric and built last fall. Kathy’s house was built in 2011 and Andrew’s house is currently being built in Smyrna with the help from the Smyrna Rotary Club.
Another speaker at the event was Ayla Campbell, whose Habitat house was built in 1997. Campbell experienced a number of life-challenging events around that time, including losing her sight and then surgery for a detached retina. Her fiends at Habitat helped her overcome her new disabilities and encouraged her to start her own answering service, then called Sure Touch. Since then Ayla has prospered and made several home improvements to her beautifully-decorated Habitat house, including adding space for her elderly mother to move into. Campbell has recently paid off the house mortgage and celebrated a note burning with Habitat staff in September, 2016. “This was my Christmas present to me!”, she exclaimed.
Songs were also performed during the event, including an a cappella version of “One Moment in Time” by Michelle Bell, a Habitat homeowner since 2011 and an original song by Frances Burton, a Habitat homeowner since 2014.
Each Habitat homeowner goes through a 30-week financial and homeowner education program and complete 300-400 hours of “sweat equity”, among other commitments, in order to receive a 0-interest mortgage on their Habitat home. The homes are offered at no profit and construction costs are kept at a minimal due to product donations, in-kind services and an average of 250 hours of help by area volunteers.
Sponsors for the Leave A Legacy Breakfast event included the Presenting Sponsor, Phoenix Boats, and Gold Sponsors Nissan USA, Schneider Electric, Roscoe Brown HVAC & Plumbing and Pinnacle Financial Partners.