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First Ladies Build Events: Alabama-Kentucky



Alabama, First Lady Lori Siegelman
Jan. 29 - Feb. 7, 2000

Alabama First Lady Lori Siegelman brought the Habitat for Humanity International's First Ladies Build to her home state. The first lady as well as other women volunteers helped the Montgomery Habitat for Humanity construct a home with Litha Stinson and her family. Mrs. Siegelman worked on the First Ladies Builds in Delaware, Oklahoma and New Mexico as well. On hand at the Montgomery construction site were First Ladies Janet Huckabee (Ark.) and Dee Johnson (N.M.).

"First Ladies Build presents me with the opportunity that I am happy to embrace: an opportunity to contribute to my community and state by building with families in need," said First Lady Lori Siegelman. "This program not only allows families to live in homes they can be proud of, but also gives volunteers the joy of knowing they have made a difference."

The three-bedroom house was mostly constructed during a three week accelerated build. The First Ladies Build house was part of the Montgomery Habitat for Humanity's New Hope Village and marked the 49th Habitat house in Montgomery. The homeowner was required to put 400 hours of "sweat equity" into her home as well as other Habitat houses in the neighborhood. If you are interested in volunteering or would like to make a donation to the Montgomery Habitat for Humanity, please call (334) 832-9313.



Alaska, First Lady Susan M. Knowles
June 1, 2000 - May 1, 2001

Alaska First Lady Susan M. Knowles is participating in the Habitat for Humanity International's First Ladies Build event. She has been joined by women volunteers from across the state for this special event. "I believe that women in particular recognize the importance of human service," said Mrs. Knowles. "The women volunteering with Habitat for Humanity's Women Build program are dedicated to giving back, and the good work that these women accomplish will indeed go on forever through the people they have touched."

The national sponsor for this event is Pace Communications of Greensboro, North Carolina. You do not need construction experience to help out on the site. If you are interested in volunteering with Greater Juneau Area Habitat for Humanity in the Alaska First Ladies Build or would like to make a donation, please call (907) 789-1417 or email: macpar@alaska.net.



Arizona, Governor Jane Dee Hull
Feb. 19 - March 25, 2000

Arizona Governor Jane Dee Hull supported Habitat for Humanity International's Governors Build in March 2000. Across the nation first ladies from every state have been supporting the Women Build team by taking part in the First Ladies Build. The Governors Build was created for those states in which the governor is a woman.

Governor Hull was the honorary Chair for the West Valley Habitat for Humanity project. The house was dedicated on March 25th and Governor Hull made this day "Women Build Day" in Arizona. More than 300 women volunteers, with an average age of 65, worked on the El Mirage house. These women have constructed three houses. The first was a "test" house in which the women were trained in construction skills, the second was the Governors Build house, while the third was built as a result of having too many volunteers to work on the one house.

The homeowner is a single mother with two children. If you are interested in volunteering with West Valley Habitat for Humanity or would like to make a donation, please call (623) 583-2417.



Arkansas, First Lady Janet Huckabee
April 24 - May 2, 1999
March 25 - June 29, 2000

Arkansas First Lady Janet Huckabee launched Habitat for Humanity International's nationwide First Ladies Build program with a crew of women volunteers in Little Rock. Construction took place in a blitz build; in 7 days the house was constructed from the floor to completion. The crew of over 300 dedicated women volunteered their time to help Tonya and Cevell Plummer and their five children move out of substandard housing into their own home.

Mrs. Huckabee was not the only first lady at the Pulaski County Habitat for Humanity build site. Joining her were First Ladies Cathy Keating (Okla.) and Linda Graves (Kan.).

Mrs. Huckabee is co-chair of the Women Build department's First Ladies Build Task Force and has participated in 10 First Ladies Build events, lending her increasing construction skills at each location. "I have worked with the first ladies in Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Ohio, Delaware and Korea (among others)," stated Mrs. Huckabee. "Without exception, they are all very involved and truly excited to be a part of Habitat for Humanity; working hard and proud to bring safe and affordable housing to their states." The homeowners invested more than 500 hours in "sweat equity" into their home. Volunteers worked on all aspects of construction from framing to roofing.

A second Arkansas First Ladies Build began March 25, 2000, in Saline County. If you are interested in volunteering with Saline County Habitat for Humanity, or would like to send a donation, please call (501) 778-3568.



California, First Lady Sharon Davis
Sept. 3 - Nov. 20, 1999

California First Lady Sharon Davis took part in the Habitat for Humanity International First Ladies Build with the launch of her event in the fall of 1999. Mrs. Davis worked with over 75 other volunteers to construct a four-bedroom dwelling in the Sacramento area. This house was one of two identical homes that were being built side-by-side by Sacramento Habitat for Humanity. These dwellings will become Sacramento's 29th and 30th Habitat homes.

Governor Gray Davis has made it a priority to end poverty housing in the state of California. Mrs. Davis's participation in the First Ladies Build emphasized women's contributions to meeting this goal. Mrs. Davis said, "Throughout history women have been at the forefront of community service, volunteering their time and resources. First Ladies Build is a wonderful way to empower women to improve their own lives and the lives of their children."

With the help of volunteers and over 500 "sweat equity" hours which the family contributed, the Habitat house was completed by Christmas of 1999. If you are interested in volunteering with the Sacramento Habitat for Humanity or would like to make a donation, please contact (916) 456-9543 or visit www.calweb.com/~hfh/index.htm.



Colorado, First Lady Frances Owens
May 10 - Sept. 12, 1999
May 14 - Aug. 26, 2000

In May of 1999, Colorado First Lady Frances Owens took part in Habitat for Humanity International's fourth First Ladies Build. She arrived at the construction site with 20 other female volunteers from her office and the governor's office. The house that Mrs. Owens helped construct was built with Debbie Heckethorn, a single mother with two children. "A decent, affordable house is a basic necessity," said the Colorado First Lady. "Having a safe, stable home helps families grow to achieve their fullest potential."

Many of the volunteers decorated the framing of the house with inspirational quotes from famous women before raising the walls. The first walls of the house were constructed on Mother's Day with the help of the first lady and her daughter Monica. The following week, the first lady brought her sister and niece along as well. The Denver home is about 1,200 square feet and consists of three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a laundry room. The family was required to supply 500 hours of "sweat equity" prior to moving into their new home.

Mrs. Owens participated in the construction of a second First Ladies Build house in 2000 and will continue her strong support with the launch of Habitat for Humanity International's new Women Building a Legacy in May 2001. The Metro Denver Habitat for Humanity has completed 143 homes thus far and is growing. If you would like to make a donation or volunteer with Metro Denver Habitat for Humanity, please call (303) 534-2929 or visit www.habitatmetrodenver.org.



Connecticut, First Lady Patricia Rowland
March 29 - Nov. 10, 2000

Connecticut First Lady Patricia Rowland participated with Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity in their First Ladies Build event. The wall raising ceremony took place on March 29, 2000. Construction continued every Saturday until the house was completed in November.

"The Women Build department offers women an opportunity to help others by building houses with people in need and to help themselves by learning construction skills. Participants in Women Build lead by example, helping families in need and helping to eliminate substandard housing throughout America and the world," Mrs. Rowland said.

If you are interested in volunteering with Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity, please call (860) 541-2208, or visit the affiliate's Web site at www.hartfordhabitat.org.



Delaware, First Lady Martha Carper
Aug. 21, 1999 - Dec. 1999
Oct. 23, 2000 - Feb. 3, 2001

Delaware First Lady Martha Carper was part of a team of first ladies assisting in the construction of a Habitat for Humanity International First Ladies Build. In late August, First Ladies Janet Huckabee (Ark.), Cathy Keating (Okla.) and Lori Seigelman (Ala.) helped Mrs. Carper, along with approximately 200 other women volunteers, to build with Sussex County Habitat for Humanity.

"Women in states across the nation -- including Delaware, the nation's First State -- are working together to help those who need it the most," the Delaware first lady stated. "It was a team effort by the community and a Delaware family who can now leave the worries of substandard housing behind them."

The four-bedroom house replaced a run-down trailer for the family of four. A large portion of the exterior construction was completed in about one week and the family officially moved into their new house in March. Local restaurants and churches provided breakfasts, lunches and coffee at the work site. It was a real team effort by the community, the first lady and the family.

Mrs. Carper began construction on her second First Ladies Build house with Central Delaware Habitat for Humanity in Dover.



Florida, First Lady Columba Bush
Nov. 16 - Dec. 16, 2000

Florida First Lady Columba Bush enthusiastically took part swinging a hammer as construction got under way with Habitat for Humanity International's Women Build program in Tallahassee. If you are interested in volunteering with the Tallahassee Habitat for Humanity or would like to make a donation, please call (808) 988-9339 or visit www.habitatally.org.




Georgia, First Lady Marie Barnes
April 1, 2000 - May 20, 2000

Georgia First Lady Marie Barnes wielded her hammer, working several days on her First Ladies Build house in the spring of 2000. The Junior League of Atlanta raised all the funding for the home and contributed numerous volunteer hours to the event. If you are interested in volunteering or would like to make a donation, please call Atlanta Habitat for Humanity at (404) 223-5180.



Hawaii, First Lady Vicky Cayetano
April 4, 2000 - March 1, 2001

Hawaii First Lady Vicky Cayetano joined forces with Honolulu Habitat for Humanity in November for the groundbreaking ceremony for their First Ladies Build house. Dozens of women have participated in the construction of a duplex house for two local families. Mrs. Cayetano has come to the build site on several occasions to help with the construction efforts. You do not need prior construction experience to be part of this Women Build event. If you are interested in volunteering or would like to make a donation, please call (808) 988-9339.



Idaho, First Lady Patricia Kempthorne
March 26 - Nov. 24, 2000

Idaho First Lady Patricia Kempthorne teamed with Habitat for Humanity International's First Ladies Build this spring. Mrs. Kempthorne spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Boise Valley Habitat for Humanity Women Build. Women volunteers came from across the state to pick up a hammer and help build a house with a local family and their first lady. If you are interested in volunteering or would like to give a donation, please contact (208) 331-2916.



Illinois, First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan
May 6 - 21, 2000

Illinois First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan joined Sangamon County Habitat for Humanity for the First Ladies Build in May of 2000. This accelerated build took place in just over a two-week period with dozens of women from across the state volunteering their time.

"I am pleased to be part of such a worthwhile project, First Ladies Build," Mrs. Ryan commented. "With the construction of each new house, one more family is able to make themselves a home. Because of the spirit of cooperation, women are learning valuable skills and building self confidence."

If you are interested in volunteering or would like to make a donation, please call (217) 523-2710.



Indiana, First Lady Judy O'Bannon
March 27 - May 5, 1999

The Women Build Department of Habitat for Humanity International was pleased to have Fort Wayne, Indiana, help launch First Ladies Build. Indiana First Lady Judy O'Bannon was one of the 300 plus women who volunteered their time to help in the construction of a Habitat house. The first lady took a break to speak with a number of the volunteers, students and media and stressed the importance of home ownership and community. "Throughout history, women have played a pivotal role in providing safe and loving homes for families," Mrs. O'Bannon said. "Women have been known for decorating, cleaning and keeping the house in order. With Women Build, women break out of the ordinary role of care provider into the role of architect and contractor. Women can become active in building houses and much more, creating homes with those less fortunate."

The 1200 square foot, three bedroom, one bath house was completed in just over a month. Volunteers from the Fort Wayne community dedicated their weekends and weekdays toward the completion of the house. One of the women volunteering was a single mother with two teenage children who was working on the construction of her new home. The homeowner invested more than 300 hours of "sweat equity" into her home as well as other Habitat houses. Fort Wayne Habitat for Humanity builds about five houses a year and is hoping to expand.

If you are interested in volunteering or would like to make a donation to Fort Wayne Habitat for Humanity, call the Associated Churches of Fort Wayne at (219) 422-3528.



Iowa, First Lady Christie Vilsack
Sept. 8 - Dec. 15, 1999

In the fall of 1999, Iowa First Lady Christie Vilsack participated in Habitat for Humanity International's First Ladies Build. Mrs. Vilsack joined Des Moines Habitat for Humanity and many other women volunteers to build a house with a local Iowa family. VIlsack worked with Missouri First Lady Jean Carnahan on the first day of construction.

"Raising the wall of a Habitat for Humanity house with Iowa women of all ages was a great way to model collaborative work for a young generation of women in our state," the First Lady said. "The Women Build gave volunteers the chance to help a deserving Iowa family complete a quality, affordable home."

The Des Moines Habitat for Humanity affiliate has been in existence since 1986. If you are interested in volunteering with this affiliate or would like to make a donation, please call (515)271-5955.



Kansas, First Lady Linda Graves
June 4 - Aug. 21, 1999

Kansas First Lady Linda Graves was joined by the local community service group, 100 Good Women, to build a house as part of Habitat for Humanity International's First Ladies Build. First Ladies Janet Huckabee (Ark.) and Cathy Keating (Okla.) were also on the construction site to help support the build. The three first ladies have made it a priority to have a team effort and join the Habitat builds in all three of their states. "As a woman whose skill with a hammer was formerly limited to hanging pictures, I was happy to discover my abilities translated to constructing something as important as a home," Mrs. Graves said. "This, in turn, opens new avenues for how we as women can make a difference in our communities with projects like Habitat for Humanity and Women Build."

The three-bedroom house was built with Laura Rogers and her son David. The kick off for the build took place on June 4th at noon and the dedication was in mid-October. The family was able to move in shortly after and became the 33rd homeowner for Lawrence Habitat for Humanity. If you are interested in volunteering with Lawrence Habitat for Humanity or would like to make a donation, please call (785) 832-0777 or e-mail lawrencehabitat@juno.com.



Kentucky, First Lady Judi Patton
July 31 - Aug. 6, 1999

Kentucky First Lady Judi Patton took hold of a hammer and helped launch the Frankfort / Franklin County Habitat for Humanity First Ladies Build. The ground breaking for this event took place on July 9 and most of the exterior work was completed July 31 through August 6, 1999.

"Right around the corner, down the street, across town, there are families in need of safe, decent housing," stated Mrs. Patton, "I am proud and honored to be part of this project that will help one of our neighbors into a home of her own." The homeowner, Martha Barnes, and her two sons put hundreds of "sweat equity" hours into their new home.

Frankfort / Franklin County Habitat for Humanity has been in existence since 1991 and has built six houses. If you are interested in volunteering, please call (502) 223-1384.



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