Vol. 15, No. 2 P.O. Box 1397 ● 106 East Court St. ● Amherst, VA 24521 434-946-9596
House #25 is Under Way!
George Banton, Building Committee Chair
February 2nd of this year the abandoned house at 123 Church
Street in the town of Amherst was demolished to make way
for Habitat House #25. The remainder of February was spent
getting a variance from the town board of zoning appeals and
all the appropriate permits. The footings were dug by L. R.
Bryant Construction Inc. in mid March and construction had
Students from Sweet Briar College and Virginia Military
Institute removed the forms from the concrete footings and
began construction of a retaining wall.
On the 22nd of April we celebrated the ground breaking with
a short ceremony. The following week block masons from Homeowner #25, Tammy Tabb & Sons at Groundbreaking
Clementi Masonry constructed the foundation walls.
Volunteer carpenters began building the floor system on May 6th and continued to frame the walls and set roof
trusses on June 3rd. The crane to set the trusses was provided by McBride Sign Co. Roof shingles were
installed the following week. In mid June carpenters constructed the porch and deck floors. The installation of
windows and exterior doors made the house officially “dried in”. Volunteers completed the electrical and
plumbing rough-ins in the early part of July. Volunteers from St Francis of Assisi Catholic Church helped
finish porch and deck railings and installed handrails. The exterior walls have been insulated and drywall
Building Walls Students from Sweet Briar
Page 2 Summer 2006 Amherst County Habitat for Humanity
Plans for 2007 Bluegrass Concert
Lynn Kable, PR Committee Chair
Board of Directors BLUEGRASS: ALWAYS WORKING ON A BUILDING will
be the title of this year’s ACHFH annual fundraising concert to be
held at Sweet Briar College’s Babcock Building Lane Auditorium
Officers on January 6th 2007 at 6 PM (snow date January 13 at 6 PM).
President As for the past four years, the concert will be co-sponsored by
Paul Grey Sweet Briar College. All proceeds will go towards building houses
Vice President in Amherst County in 2007.
Lynn Kable Little Mountain Boys performing at 2006 Concert
Sam Pinn Local favorite performers who have committed to performing at
Felicia Sorrells the concert as of press time on July 24 include (in alphabetical
order) Borrowed Time, Dixie Blue, Deer Creek Boys, Hand Picked
Grass, Bobby Jennings with his Friends and Students, Little
Ex Officio Mountain Boys, Long Mountain Grass, Reed Creek, and the 3M’s
George Banton (Margaret, Maddox and Mays).
John Pelissier, For the first time this January ACHFH will be selling assigned
Founder & Member Emeritus seats in the auditorium. The concert has been selling out, and to
make sure that everyone is treated fairly, tickets will be sold on a
first come, first served basis with early purchasers receiving seats
Executive Director front and center. Adult tickets will be $12 each; student and senior
Craig Cassell tickets will be $10. We will no longer be able to sell a family ticket
as such, but will sell a $5 ticket for children under the age of 12 in
order to make it possible for families to continue to attend. Watch
Office Manager for announcement of where tickets are being sold – ticket sales will
Becky Stewart start November 15th.
Linda Shank of Sweet Briar has kindly agreed to spearhead an
effort to get advertising for this year’s concert program. Persons
interested in taking a corporate or personal “booster” ad to support
ACHFH should contact Becky Stewart at the ACHFH office 434-
Page 3 Summer 2006 Amherst County Habitat for Humanity
CD’s on Sale Locally and EBay Committee Chair for Family Support
Lynn Kable, PR Committee Chair Becky Stewart, Office Manager
EXCERPTS FROM BLUEGRASS “STILL Family Support committee members are in a one-
WORKING ON A BUILDING”, ACHFH’s 2006 on-one relationship with our partner families. They
CD recorded live at Sweet Briar College will go on have a multifaceted role: part sponsor, part
sale in October. Participants in this lively event advocate, part friend. Their goals are to help
featured on the CD include Heather Berry with homeowners understand the nature of
Dominion Grass and Tony Nabe, Deer Creek Boys, homeownership and in empowering them to become
Hand Picked Grass, Dixie Blue, Bobby Jennings a positive influence in their local community.
and Friends, Little Mountain Boys, Long Mountain
Grass, the 3 M’s, and Borrowed Time. A Habitat house answers the basic human need for a
simple, decent and secure dwelling place. Other
For those of you who missed last year’s CD needs or challenges related to finances, home
recorded at the January 2005 concert, it is now maintenance and employment may not be directly
available on EBay, search for: Habitat for Humanity resolved by a new house. Developing a plan that
Bluegrass CD. offers support in these areas puts families on
positive ground before and after they move into
The CDS are edited and mastered by Bob Langstaff their home.
of WAMV Radio as a donation to ACHFH. The
musicians have donated their work to ACHFH and ACHFH is very happy to have former judge, Larry
the music was recorded live at Sweet Briar by Janow, join us as a volunteer and serve as the
Donnie Reynolds and WAMV. All proceeds from Chairman of the Family Support Committee. (This
the CDS go towards the work of ACHFH. group works with our partner families after they are
selected for home ownership.)
Habitat 5K Walk/Run Moved to Judge Janow is a member of the Virginia Bar
Sweet Briar Association and is currently a State Certified
Sue Johnston, Race Director, PR Committee Mediator. He brings to the Family Support
Committee his vast judicial experience, knowledge
Our Annual Habitat 5K Walk/Run is set to go on and understanding. When asked why he
Sat. Nov. 11th at 08:30. We have decided to have it volunteered to work with Habitat, he stated, “It
at Sweet Briar College this year! SBC has joined us seems to be an incredibly worthwhile program and
to provide this event for Habitat. It will remain a lends help to those who could not otherwise afford a
3.2 mi/5K race. The route is moderately difficult for home for themselves and family. I am impressed
runners. The walkers should have no trouble. All with how hard everyone works and their
will be able to enjoy the beautiful views. commitment.”
Come one, come all, this fall to walk/run for your In addition, he is
HABITAT. You can sign up online at also a volunteer on
www.amhersthabitat.org. the construction
site. In this photo
We need a lot of volunteers to sign up to help. he demonstrates the
Contact Craig Cassell at the office 946-9596 or Sue proper use of a
Johnston 929-1413 to help. shovel for digging
Larry Janow at work on House #25
Page 4 Summer 2006 Amherst County Habitat for Humanity
Church Relations Habitat for Humanity builds so much more than
Becky Stewart, Office Manager houses. When bankers and barbers and
homemakers and truck drivers work alongside
We continue to recruit churches to participate in our homeowners, they build relationships. When
Apostles Build Program and become involved with Baptist and Catholics and Jews and Pentecostals put
our commitment to build homes for those in need. aside their differences and pick up a hammer, they
The Apostles Build Program is a great way for build bridges of understanding and respect.
churches of all sizes to work together to help build
God’s kingdom. Make a Joyful Noise – Save the Date
2006 Gospel Concert
Our staff has information and materials and is very Lynn Kable, PR Committee Chair
willing to come to your church to present the
program. We can speak to your Sunday School Amherst County Habitat for Humanity’s (ACHFH)
Classes, your missions committee, or to the Second Annual “Make a Joyful Noise Unto The
congregation as a whole. Contact the Habitat office Lord” Gospel Concert will take place in the
if you would like more information. sanctuary at Randolph Memorial Baptist Church, on
September 24, 2006 at 2:30 PM.
Prayer for Shelter
Lord, on the night you were born, there was no Local church choirs, soloists and small groups will
room in the inn. share vocal and instrumental music. Churches
“May we remember those who do not have a safe confirmed as participating as of press time on July
place to sleep tonight”. 24 include Amherst Presbyterian Church, Clifford
Jesus, you were born in a stable. Baptist Church, Randolph Memorial Baptist
“May we be builders of decent houses”. Church, St. Mark Baptist Church, St. Mark’s
Lord, you wandered in the desert, fighting Episcopal Church, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, and
temptation. St. Peter’s Baptist Church. ACHFH is awaiting
“We seek your direction and your strength as we confirmation of the ability to participate from other
strive to do your will”. local choirs.
Jesus, you ministered to all those who would
hear you. Admission is free, but we will take up a collection
“May we work tirelessly for all those in need of for the benefit of ACHFH. Last year’s voluntary
decent housing. contributions at the Gospel concert totaled over
Jesus, you came that we might have life. $2000.
“We offer ourselves to be your hands and feet in
our world”. Habitat for Humanity
God of all, give us the courage to speak out for
--– Myths & Truths
those who have no voice. Help us remove the
obstacles that stand in the way of all your Myth: You have to be a Christian to become a
children having a simple, decent place in which Habitat Homeowner.
to live. Give us strength to take action. We ask Truth: Habitat for Humanity was founded as and
this in Jesus’ name. Amen. unashamedly remains a Christian ministry.
However, homeowners are chosen without regard to
race, creed or nationality – following the
Speak up for those who cannot speak
requirements of the law as well as Habitat’s belief
for themselves, for the rights of all who that God’s love extends to all. Habitat also
are destitute. welcomes volunteers from all faiths – or no faith –
Speak up and judge fairly; defend the who actively embrace the goal of eliminating
right of the poor and needy. poverty housing from the world.
Page 5 Summer 2006 Amherst County Habitat for Humanity
Executive Director’s The minimum wage has not been raised
Report…………………….. since 1997. If minimum wage rose as fast as
Craig Cassell, Executive Director CEO pay since 1990, the lowest paid worker
in the United States would be earning
Amherst County Habitat for Humanity (ACHFH) $23.03 an hour today, according to USA
would like to thank Bill Scharrer (past ACHFH Today, Habitat World March 2006.
Executive Director) for all of his hard work. We
would like to congratulate Bill on finding a The Census Bureau says 1.1 million more
wonderful wife and new career in Roanoke. Your people fell into poverty in the United States
season of accomplishments here at ACHFH has in 2004, Habitat World March 2006.
opened the doors for progress in Amherst County.
My name is Craig Cassell, the new Executive In August 2005, Habitat for Humanity
Director for ACHFH. I had the opportunity to learn dedicated the 200,000th house built since the
from Bill before he moved on to his new life in organization’s founding in 1976. Even more
Roanoke. My background is in marketing, event important than the houses themselves is the
planning and economic development with the City fact that the homes represent decent,
of Lynchburg. I am a graduate of Amherst County affordable shelter for 1 million Habitat
High School with a communications degree from family members, Habitat World June 2005.
Amherst County Habitat for Humanity makes a
I have been working the Executive Director position positive difference in Amherst County. Our impact
for three and half months and I have enjoyed every can be found in 25 families now with homes. We
minute of it. The ACHFH mission is to work in build on average 1.5 houses a year in Amherst
partnership with God’s people in need, and County and we are trying to increase that number to
volunteers from all walks of life and faiths, to build 2.5 a year. In order to accomplish this we need the
decent, simple and affordable housing. What a communities support through volunteers,
great organization to be a part of! We build hope in monetary/land donations and increased Church
the name of Jesus Christ. Our Board of Directors involvement.
and volunteers are the most dedicated and
hardworking people you can find. I would like to thank ACHFH for this opportunity
to serve the Amherst County community. Our
We encourage you to listen to WAMV-AM and office is open to the community, please drop by or
read the New-Era Progress for updates about our call us anytime.
accomplishments and opportunities where you may
be of service. We support our local economy by
using Amherst County resources to build, support
I have listed a few facts that I think about while
working for Amherst County Habitat for Humanity.
Only 25 percent of Americans now work in
jobs that provide middle-class wages,
according to a study by the Center for
Economic and Policy Research. Couple that
with the fact that another 25 percent of jobs
don’t pay even a poverty-level income, Ex. Director, Craig Cassell at House #25 Site,
Photo Courtesy of New Era Progress and Aaron Lee
Habitat World March 2006.
Page 6 Summer 2006 Amherst County Habitat for Humanity
Message from the President These will satisfy our needs for the next 2 years
Paul Grey, President ACHFH giving us time to implement longer range plans
which may depend on finding and developing larger
ACHFH’s fiscal year ended on June 31st, 2006 and blocks of property.
our organization has made great progress in a
number of areas. During the past year a grant from VOLUNTEERS are urgently needed, including
the State of Virginia provided planning and those who have worked with ACHFH in the past
financial support. This program helped us complete but have been out of touch for a while. We have the
a detailed analysis of our strengths & weaknesses organization in place to match, or increase, your
and put in place a prioritized plan to achieve our experience and availability in a number of areas
long range goal of eliminating substandard housing including:
in Amherst County. The addition of Becky Stewart Fundraising ● Marketing ● Church Relations ●
as office manager and Craig Cassell, our new Office Support ● Construction ● Landscaping ●
Executive Director, was a key part of this plan & I Special Events ● Homeowner Support
am grateful for the teamwork, energy, commitment
and results they have already provided. Our office Looking forward to working with all of you,
equipment and systems have been upgraded and respectfully, Paul Grey
with Rod Loving’s support our accounting system
has been significantly improved.
WHAT WE NEED
Of course building homes is what we do and
ACHFH is one of the leading Habitat builders in Land Search
Virginia for communities our size. George Banton
is again leading construction of our 25th home. We Great news! Amherst County Habitat for
are especially grateful for his support and Humanity has received a generous donation of
experience he provides in this and many other areas $75,000 to purchase land. The donation was made
within the organization. Special events are an by an out-of-state relative of a Habitat volunteer and
important part of fund raising and increasing is ear-marked solely for land purchases in the
awareness of ACHFH in the community. Under county. This is the largest private donation
Lynn Kabel’s leadership and direction the Bluegrass Amherst Habitat has ever received.
Concert program continues as our signature event.
It has increased revenues with a packed house for The biggest challenge facing Habitat affiliates today
the 3rd straight year. Planning is already underway is the acquisition of affordable land. This donation
for the 2007 concert. Two new events were added has jumpstarted our campaign to purchase and
in 2006. A Gospel Concert held in September. maintain a five year inventory of land for building.
Again under Lynn Kabel’s direction working with Maintaining land inventory allows ACHFH to
Rev. Mike Fitzgerald at Clifford Baptist, and was a manage the cost of home ownership to our partner
great success. Another Gospel Concert is being families.
planned for this September. Sue Johnston
organized the 1st Annual 5k Walk/Run in Amherst. We are still looking for land. It is very important
This event will be held again in early November so that we buy and hold enough real estate to provide
start getting in shape. ACHFH with a land inventory for the foreseeable
future; five to ten building lots. If anyone has the
Our 2 major areas of focus are acquiring building real estate gene or would like to be involved in
sites and volunteers. Rising land prices are great some of the most interesting work that ACHFH
concern since these costs are passed directly to does, please contact the office. We need an active
homeowner’s mortgages. We have been blessed in Site Selection Committee.
the past year by receiving 2 anonymous donations
that will allow us to build House 25 and, combined
with existing funds, purchase 4 to 5 building lots.
Page 7 Summer 2006 Amherst County Habitat for Humanity
Amherst County Habitat for Humanity
thanks the many donors who have contributed
time and/or contributions…
Golden Hammer Club Carpenter Club Cont’d
$1,000+ Cash or In-kind
William E. Seale & Marguerite Pelissier
Whirlpool Corporation WareOnEarth Communications, Inc.
United Way of Central VA Elon Presbyterian Church
Randolph Memorial Baptist Church
Master Carpenters Club Amherst Woman’s Club, Inc.
$500 to $999 Cash or In-Kind Commonwealth of VA Campaign
Square D Company United Way of Roanoke Valley, Inc.
Jeff Cabell, Scott Cabell Drywall
Tony McBride, McBride Sign Co.
Lee Bryant, L.R. Bryant Construction
Bob Clementi, Clementi Masonry
Hunter Douglas, Inc.
ACHFH Calendar of Upcoming Events
Larson Manufacturing Company
Yale Residential Security Products, Inc. Event: Amherst Cheers
Date: August 11, 2006
Central VA Printing
Time: 6-9 PM
Bob Langstaff, WAMV Radio
Location: Downtown Amherst
Banton, George & Nancy Event: 2006 Gospel Concert
Date: September 24, 2006
Camm, Mrs. John A.
Time: 2:30 PM
Cash, Louise C.
Location: Randolph Memorial Baptist Church
Dunne, Marshall D. & Rosemary L. Event: 2006 5K Walk/Run
Date: November 11, 2006
Time: 8:30 AM
Green, Arnett A. & Jean H.
Location: Sweet Briar College
Kable, Edward E. & Lynn M.
Lewis, Sandra J. & Lindsey Ann
Pormann, Arthur R. & Nancy L. Event: 2007 Bluegrass Concert
Date: January 7, 2007
Time: 6 PM
Steadman, Geoffrey N. & Marjorie J.
Location: Babcock Auditorium, Sweet Briar
Stimpson, Millard Gray & Martha R.
Trude, Heidi L.
Turner, John – Amherst Car & Truck Sales
Woerner, Eric & Mary
Clorox Company Foundation
Episcopal Thrift Shop