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Country group Trick Pony aids Habitat’s tsunami relief

Country artists Trick Pony aid Habitat for Humanity’s tsunami relief

NASHVILLE (APRIL 21, 2005) – Country music group Trick Pony – Ira Dean, Keith Burns and Heidi Newfield – on Monday presented Habitat for Humanity International a check for more than $50,000 to help build homes and restore lives in the tsunami-ravaged Indian Ocean basin.

Trick Pony has earned Academy of Country Music and American Music Awards for songs such as “A Night Like This.” The group is touring through September in advance of the release, June 15, of its latest album, “R.I.D.E.” (Rebellious Individuals Delivering Entertainment).”

“As we assessed the destruction from the tsunami, we knew the road to recovery would be long for the thousands of families whose lives had been so tragically affected. It has been gratifying to see support for our work, and to see it continue to be on the hearts and minds of generous individuals such as the members of Trick Pony even now, months later, is especially so,” said Chris Clarke, senior vice president, communications for Habitat for Humanity.

“Working in concert with the staff of one our outstanding affiliates in Nashville, Trick Pony’s donation will help as many as 30 families regain their dignity in a safe, simple and decent home.”

“It’s an honor to be a part of a charity that is so well known and reaches out to so many across the world,” said Newfield. “Building homes and placing roofs over people’s heads and being able to witness the difference you have made in someone’s life, it’s amazing.” “Anytime we can lend a helping hand it is an honor and a privilege, particularly with a cause like Habitat, absolutely well worth the time. It makes my heart feel good,” said Burns.

To date, generous supporters and donors such as Dean, Burns and Newfield have contributed more than US$40 million to Habitat for Humanity to be used for tsunami relief. The global nonprofit, which has been working in the region for many years, immediately responded in the wake of the Dec. 26 waves to assess the situation and to work with other organizations, governments, staff and volunteers to begin the rebuilding process.

Habitat for Humanity plans over the next two years to build homes for up to 35,000 families in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand. The goal is provide simple and safe shelter, and to help get them out of the overcrowded camps. Habitat is also opening centers that produce building materials and teach families building skills they can use to help rebuild their homes and others’ homes. Habitat also has the first of its “First Builders” teams on the ground, self-contained, international teams with skilled construction experience who are aiding in the initial stages of construction.

Habitat for Humanity International, based in Americus, Ga., is an ecumenical Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. By the end of 2005, Habitat will have built its 200,000th house and more than one million people will be living in Habitat homes they helped build and are buying through no-profit, zero-interest mortgages. www.habitat.org

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