Habitat#8217;s Tool Box Bash set for later this month

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 14, 2006

Allison T. Williams

Leave the hammer and nails at home.

You won’t need the power drill or screwdriver either.

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But don’t forget your dancing shoes when you come to South Hampton Roads Habitat for Humanity’s Tool Box Bash later this month.

Funds generated by the event, being held from 7 p.m. to midnight, April 29, at the Virginia Beach Convention Center, will be used for the Home Builders Blitz in Portsmouth June 5-9.

The blitz is part of a Habitat for Humanity International program that proposes building 700 homes across the country in a week, and an additional 300 homes on the Hurricane Katrina-ravaged Gulf Coast.

Local builders and Habitat volunteers from across Hampton Roads are teaming up to construct 10 new affordable housing units in Portsmouth’s Brighton neighborhood.

Suffolk businesses Garcia Development and Top of the Line Painting Inc., are among those that have signed off to participate in the blitz, said Ernie Hefferon, the paint company owner. Hefferon is also on Suffolk’s Habitat board and the local Habitat project manager.

Developer Mickey Garcia is building one of the blitz houses in Portsmouth.

Prior to the June Blitz, church members, neighbors and volunteers in the Brighton community will clean-up the surrounding neighborhood, Hefferon said. Habitat volunteers will go in and tackle little projects for homeowners in the neighborhood: exterior painting, fixing broken steps and other household repairs.

“We excited about the blitz,” said Hefferon. “We are going to be able to change the face of a whole neighborhood in a few short months.”

The Rev. Clifford Barnett, pastor of Brighton Rock A.M.E. Zion Church, agreed.

“I am thrilled about the Habitat Blitz Build 2006 because it will provide decent and affordable housing for hard-working families, as well as provide an opportunity for us, as neighbors, to help neighbors,” he said. “Ten new homes in our community will help us build a stronger and safer community.”

Julianne Haycox, the fundraiser’s chairwoman, is hopeful Suffolk residents will be among the crowd at the event.

“We have a great team of volunteers and businesses that have been working for months to make the event a success” said Haycox.

The fundraiser will feature a live auction, which will include a donated Toyota RAV4 sports utility vehicle, a hot tub, a pearl necklace and a handcrafted backyard playhouse.

There will also be music for dancing by The Janitors, dinner, raffles and door prizes. WVEC’s Joe Flanagan is the guest host for the event.

Individual tickets for the bash are $75 per person. Corporate sponsorships and table sales are also available.