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NCAA, Habitat, Lowe’s team up to frame two homes at Men’s Final Four in Atlanta

ATLANTA, Ga. (Mar 27, 2007) – Habitat for Humanity International, NCAA, Atlanta Habitat for Humanity, and NCAA corporate partner Lowe’s will team up to help build two homes in partnership with needy families in Atlanta at the Men’s Final Four®.

Student-athletes and other students from Atlanta-area colleges and universities will join volunteers from the NCAA and Atlanta Habitat for Humanity to frame two homes inside Centennial Olympic Park, location of the NCAA’s “The Big Dance®” activities at the Men’s Final Four. The homes will be relocated in the Atlanta community.

The builds in Atlanta are part of the “Home Team” project, which is the NCAA’s national response to the devastation caused by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The three-year, $2.5 million NCAA partnership with Habitat for Humanity has helped nearly 20 families rebuild from the Gulf Coast storms, with more than 800 student-athletes volunteering on the builds at numerous NCAA championships.

“The NCAA is strongly committed to the Home Team Project,” said NCAA President Myles Brand. “While progress has been made in the Gulf Coast during the last year, we cannot forget that funds and volunteers are still needed to assist families and communities rebuilding from hurricanes Katrina and Rita and others who can benefit from the NCAA Home Team Project.”

“The need to rebuild in the Gulf remains great, and Habitat for Humanity cannot do it alone,” said Jonathan Reckford, chief executive officer of Habitat for Humanity International. “Thanks to partners like the NCAA we’ve been able to build simple, decent housing in partnership with low-income families that would not normally qualify for conventional lending programs but are willing to help build their own home then pay for it through a no-profit loan. Rebuilding the Gulf Coast will take the talents, energy, resources and expertise of so many partners working together. The more we can direct our individual strengths toward a common recovery goal, the greater the impact we can leave collaboratively in the Gulf.”

The builds in Atlanta are also sponsored by Lowe’s, one of the NCAA’s corporate partners and a corporate supporter of Habitat.

“We’re proud of this unique Habitat build because it combines Lowe’s ongoing commitment to Habitat for Humanity International and the successful relationship we’ve forged with NCAA to help two truly deserving families in Atlanta,” said Bob Gfeller, senior vice president of marketing and advertising at Lowe’s. “What better way to rally basketball fans and local residents together than by helping deserving community members realize their ultimate dream of owning a home. We’re really excited about this remarkable project.”

Complementing the house builds at the Men’s Final Four will be a photo exhibit depicting the NCAA “Home Team” partnership with Habitat for Humanity. The photo exhibit will be on display inside the Georgia Dome concourse throughout the championship weekend.

“Opening Doors for Habitat Partner Families” is a series of photographs from past NCAA building projects mounted on free-standing doors. Additionally, 65 doors, representing each of the participating NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament participants, will be located along International Boulevard near the Georgia Dome. This project is co-presented by the NCAA, Lowe’s and Habitat for Humanity. Lowe’s will donate the doors to the Atlanta Habitat ReStore following the tournament.

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in Americus, Ga., in 1976, Habitat has built more than 200,000 houses in nearly 100 countries, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1 million people. For more information, visit

About the NCAA
The NCAA is a membership-led nonprofit association of colleges and universities committed to supporting academic and athletic opportunities for more than 380,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 member colleges and universities. Each year, more than 49,000 student-athletes compete in NCAA Championships in Division I, II and III sports. For more information, go to

About Lowe’s
With fiscal year 2006 sales of $46.9 billion, Lowe’s Companies, Inc. is a FORTUNE® 50 company that serves approximately 13 million customers a week at more than 1,375 home improvement stores in 49 states. Based in Mooresville, N.C., the 60-year-old company is the second-largest home improvement retailer in the world. For more information, visit

About Atlanta Habitat for Humanity
Atlanta Habitat for Humanity, one of more than 1,600 U.S. affiliates of Habitat for Humanity International, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing affordable housing to Atlanta’s low-income families. Since 1983, volunteers from corporations and faith-based and civic organizations have worked in partnership with qualified homebuyers to construct quality, affordable homes in Atlanta, which are then purchased through no-profit mortgages. From 1983 to 2006, Atlanta Habitat built 888 homes in the city of Atlanta and Fulton County. For more information about Atlanta Habitat for Humanity, visit or call (404) 223-5180.