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Habitat board looking to nail down new members

After completing three successful projects, Habitat for Humanity South Okanagan is setting 2014 aside as a year to refresh the organization.

Tuesday evening, the group is hosting an open house to educate about Habitat for Humanity and hopefully recruit some new volunteers.

“We have several board members that are retiring, their terms are finished, so we are definitely looking for new board members,” said chair Georgina Dumont, adding that Florence Barton, one of the founders, is also retiring. Dumont said they are awaiting word on a national award they nominated her for.

“This is a fundraising year for us, a taking care of business year, so there won’t be a build. We just finished the Huth Avenue build last summer,” said Dumont. “We are going to be looking at a possible renew-it project in the Penticton area as opposed  to a new build, we would like to do something like that.”

A renew-it project means taking and making it over, explained Dumont.

“Because there is not a lot of land in the area, sometimes it is easier to purchase a home or work with the city on homes that they own,” she said.  “Even if we have to take it down to the studs, it is cheaper and more economical sometimes to do that.”

But Dumont calls 2014 a “building the organization year” and said they plan to focus on outreach and raising money.

“As board chair, one of the things I would like to do is strengthen some ties with various community groups like the Lions, the Eagles and various other groups around town,” said Dumont, noting that they are already planning a fundraiser in conjunction with the Lions’ Club in the fall.

The groups are bringing the Harlem Ambassadors to town, a fun basketball team in the style of the Harlem Globetrotters.

“We are going to be looking for celebrities in the community to play a game of basketball against them as a fundraiser,” said Dumont.

Right now, they are working with funding organizations.

“This time of year is when all the grant applications need to be in, so we are focusing on that, and we are focusing on our educational display,” said Dumont.

The open house runs from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on April 8 in St. Saviour’s Parish Hall, 150 Orchard St.

More information on the local Habitat chapter is available by e-mailing info@habitatsouthokanagan.ca, calling 250-487-4888 or visiting HabitatforHumanitySouthOkanagan on Facebook.

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