By SABRINA GARRETT
The Wilson Post
One hundred and sixty guests attended Wilson County Habitat for Humanitys Houses of Home luncheon at College Hills Church of Christ on Wednesday which raised over $21,650, through table sales, sponsorships by Payment Express Systems, Kroger and silent auction items, for the worthy cause.
The event featured a special appearance by guest speaker, Mike Keith, Voice of the Tennessee Titans.
Keith was invited to share his thoughts at the event by Habitat Advisory Board Member Romel McMurry, who said getting Keith to commit to the engagement was as easy as picking up the telephone.
When I called him to see if he would be the guest speaker for this event, he said yes right away without hesitation. To me, that is a community leader willing to give back, McMurry said.
Keith, who resides in Franklin, said he participated in his first Habitat build in 1998. My father-in-law is an electrician and he would tell you I am not handy, he said, laughing. But I can carry stuff. I did whatever I could do to help. What Habitat does is so incredibly valuable. You are changing another persons life for the positive. Anybody who takes part in a Habitat build makes a difference.
Before taking to the podium, Keith watched as McMurry played a video of the famous Music City Miracle that took place Jan. 8, 2000 when the Titans took on the Buffalo Bills at home. Guests viewing the clip saw the play Titans Lorenzo Neal, Frank Wycheck and Kevin Dyson made to win in the last 16 seconds of the game. Neal handed the ball off to Wycheck, who threw across the field to Dyson, who then ran down the sidelines for a 75-yard touchdown.
Mechanically about six or seven things went wrong with the play. But watch what the other players do. They did their job in a phenomenal way. They set it up sold it brilliantly, Keith said. You need Lorenzo and Frank and Kevin but you have to have those other eight players on the field to make it work. It is a great lesson towards Habitat. Youve got to have those leaders, but you also have to have everybody else. Whatever your skill level you can make a difference with Habitat.
Wilson Habitat Executive Director Tory Tredway followed Keith and handed out three awards with the help of Advisory Board Member Joe Ali. Rita Redmond was the recipient of the Spirit of Volunteerism Award. The Spirit of Habitat Award was received by Father Pat Kibby of St. Stephens Catholic Community and the Community Partnership Award was received by Scott Jasper on behalf of Wilson Bank & Trust.
We want our friends at Wilson Bank & Trust to know how grateful we are, Tredway said.
The luncheon also featured testimonials from two Habitat home recipients, Linda Gray and Sarah Caves. Gray was a part of Lebanons first Blitz Build in which Habitat volunteers built her home from the ground up in five short days. Gray said she had raised her two sons as a single parent for 14 years when she was suddenly laid off from her job.
There were many changes and the only thing I could do was walk away, Gray said of losing her home. A friend of mine informed me about Habitat and what they do.
Gray applied to the program and after completing her sweat equity hours, in which she helped other recipients work on their homes, and mandatory classes on financial planning, how to be a homeowner, how to be a good neighbor and more, she and her family successfully moved into their home. I have to say thank you. We have a very nice home now that we call our own. Habitat not only builds house, they build dreams.
Caves will be the next Habitat homeowner in Wilson County when the Women Build project is completed on June 22 in Watertown. In November 2012 I filled out my application, she said. I feel that I have been blessed with the opportunity to provide a stable home for my five children.
Bob Black, who serves on the Board of Directors, wrapped up the program by asking event patrons to pledge a donation to Habitat to help other families dreams come true.
For more information on Wilson County Habitat for Humanity, call 453-4517.