Dec­o­rat­ing race helps fund Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity

Dorchester Star - - Regional - By CHRIS POLK cpolk@star­dem.com Fol­low Caro­line/Dorch­ester Ed­i­tor Dustin Holt on Twit­ter @Dustin_S­tarDem.

EAS­TON — It was a show­down in town as dec­o­ra­tors and their teams com­peted for the most beau­ti­ful, the most in­spired, and the most clever room dé­cor at the Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity Chop­tank Re­Store on Com­merce Drive, Satur­day, April 23.

A sell-out crowd of nearly 300 peo­ple stood shoul­derto-shoul­der sip­ping cock­tails and nosh­ing on hors d’oeu­vres. They watched teams of dec­o­ra­tors scram­bling to dress out pre­or­dained de­signer spa­ces as the clock ticked down on ReImag­ine Re­Store: A Space ver­sus Space Show­down.

Six teams com­peted. Each team’s task was to dec­o­rate a 10-foot-by-12-foot empty space with items gleaned from the Re­Store’s ever-chang­ing in­ven­tory in 20 min­utes.

Teams chose from do­nated fur­ni­ture and home im­prove­ment items, ex­tras from con­struc­tion jobs, over­stocks from re­tail­ers, do­na­tions from churches and in­di­vid­u­als in the com­mu­nity that come in to be sold in the Re­Store.

Event Chair­man Bruce Welling­ton said the cre­ativ­ity was amaz­ing.

“They can go through and pick out things and use their imag­i­na­tion,” she said. “They can take things apart and make other things, they can paint it, they can up­hol­ster it. That’s why we call it ReImag­ine.”

Nancy An­drew, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor for Habi­tat, said the teams had been plan­ning and pre-as­sem­bling their con­test en­tries for months.

“Each team had a bud­get, money, so to speak, credit, that they could spend in the store.” she said. “Eighty per­cent of the de­sign items have to be from the store. And then the rest can be brought from wher­ever.”

She said at the end of the evening the rooms that were cre­ated would be put up for sale.

Some of the teams were headed by pro­fes­sional in­te­rior de­sign­ers and oth­ers headed by just plain very, very tal­ented peo­ple.

Each team had their own Real­tor as well, and the Real­tor’s job was to mar­ket and pro­mote the team through on­line vot­ing in ad­vance.

Team Re­Store Girlz Cold­well Banker was paired with Ch­e­sa­peake Real Es­tate Com­pany; Team Abode Home Stag­ing and Re­design­ing was paired with Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Real Es­tate Plus LLC; Team Dec­o­rat­ing Den In­te­ri­ors was matched with Exit Latham Realty; Team Boun­ti­ful In­te­ri­ors was matched with Long & Fos­ter Real Es­tate Inc.; Team Eastern Mill­work was paired with Ben­son & Man­gold Real Es­tate; and Team Liv Again was paired with Exit on the Bay.

Along with on­line do­na­tions, the 300 guests had a chance to vote for their fa­vorite team with money dur­ing the com­pe­ti­tion.

Rais­ing the most money and re­ceiv­ing the Com­mu­nity Choice Award was team Liv Again and Exit on the Bay with $3,400.

The Au­di­ence Choice Award was given to Eastern Mill­work and Ben­son & Man­gold who trans­formed their space into a re­cre­ation room-type bar with re­cy­cled doors turned into cus­tom wain­scot­ing.

They also won the Most In­spired Floor Cov­er­ing award, which was spon­sored by Ac­tion Car­pet.

Mas­ter of Cer­e­monies Fred Suss kept the ex­cite­ment go­ing as teams fever­ishly put their rooms to­gether.

Ken­tavius Jones rocked the house with his mu­sic and cater­ing was provided by Wendy Palmer of Lat­i­tude 38 in Ox­ford.

The to­tal raised from the event was $10,056.

Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity Chop­tank is a faith-based Chris­tian or­ga­ni­za­tion that is an af­fil­i­ate of Habi­tat In­ter­na­tional. The or­ga­ni­za­tion makes home­own­er­ship pos­si­ble for low-in­come peo­ple and fam­i­lies who could not other­wise pur­chase a home in Tal­bot and Dorch­ester coun­ties.

Their ser­vices in­clude fi­nan­cial coach­ing, ed­u­ca­tion and sup­port, among oth­ers. Each fam­ily must pro­vide ‘sweat eq­uity’ by vol­un­teer­ing a cer­tain num­ber of hours to help build their own or oth­ers’ habi­tat homes, which are built mostly by vol­un­teers.

Since their be­gin­nings in 1992, the or­ga­ni­za­tion has com­pleted 69 homes.

The Habi­tat Re­Store evolved to help sup­ply funds to build more Habi­tat houses. It has be­come so pop­u­lar that it re­cently moved into a ware­house-type space at 8610 Com­merce Drive.

Dur­ing the fundraiser, An­drew said she was very ex­cited to see the large crowd in the store.

“They may know what Habi­tat is, but they may have not known what we have here in this store,” she said.

New do­na­tions of fur­ni­ture, build­ing ma­te­ri­als, bath­room and kitchen fixtures, ap­pli­ances and other home items come into the store ev­ery week and are for sale at cu­trate prices.

“You can come here and get re­ally valu­able stuff for not much money,” Welling­ton said. “What­ever I’m look­ing for, I al­ways come here first.”

The store is open 1 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wed­nes­day through Fri­day and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Satur­day. For more in­for­ma­tion, call 410-820-6186 or visit www.habi­tatchop­tank.org.

PHOTO BY CHRIS POLK

Team Liv Again are all smiles af­ter they win the Com­mu­nity Choice Award dur­ing the ReImag­ine Re­Store: A Space ver­sus Space Show­down event on April 23. From left: Joseph Manokey, Adrian Holmes, Michelle Hamil­ton and Jer­maine An­der­son.

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