Habitat to rebuild Westbridge Home

Habitat for Humanity has announced the Winn family as the recipients of the new home construction in Westbridge.

Bob Huff

Habitat for Humanity has announced the recipients of the new home construction in Westbridge that will replace a residence destroyed by the recent wildfire.

Bob Huff, executive director of HFH Southeast BC (HFHSBC) proclaimed Dale and J.D. Winn and their four children as the family the organization will be helping get back on their feet after losing everything to the fire. Huff visited the family last Friday to check in on the construction effort, which has already produced a goat shelter, built by the numerous volunteers and donors who have reached out to the Winns with their expertise and construction materials.

Habitat for Humanity is renowned for its volunteer response across Canada and volunteers’ willingness to make a difference in their own communities. Joining HFHSEBC in rebuilding the Winn family home will be another organization renowned for their volunteer response. Mennonite Disaster Services has pledged their support to partner with HFHSEBC and the Rock Creek Westbridge Fire Needs Committee in the construction of the Winn’s new residence.

“Every day for the past two months, people from the Boundary region have been volunteering and responding to the needs of the people devastated by the fires,” Huff said. ”In some ways, you could say that disasters bring out the best in people.”

Huff views HFHSEBC’s partnership with Mennonite Disaster Services and the Rock Creek Westbridge Fire Needs Committee  as more than the rebuilding of destroyed homes. “It’s about building hope,” he said.

At a ceremony held in Rock Creek on Oct 23, the managers of Buy-Low Foods in Osoyoos, Oliver and Grand Forks, along with AG Foods in Osoyoos presented a cheque to HFHSEBC for $17,100 to assist with the wildfire recovery efforts. The four stores accepted donations from customers who gave generously at the checkouts at allfour locations.

Sam Corea, the director of retail operations for the grocery chain praised the stores customers for their response.

“While the people of Rock Creek and Oliver have begun the long journey to rebuild after the recent fires,” Corea said, “it is uplifting to see the generous contributions made to this campaign.”

HFHSEBC, in partnership with Heather Smith of the Yellow Door boutique, is also presenting a fashion show and silent auction at Greenwood’s McArthur Centre on Nov. 7, the proceeds of which will go toward the rebuilding of the Winns’ home. The event gets underway at 3 p.m. and is expected to last three hours.

For those interested in donating or volunteering, Huff can be reached by telephone at 250-442-2722 or by email at bob.huff@hfhsebc.org.

Meanwhile, more than 400 kilometres away in Vancouver, the organizers of the Ponderosa Arts and Music Festival, which was cancelled this year due to the Rock Creek fire, have announced a benefit concert on Nov. 14, through which they hope to raise $10,000 to contribute to the construction of the Winns’ home.

Ponderosa principles Kris Hargrave and Kia Zahrabi have pulled together an impressive lineup of musical acts for the event, which will be held at the Imperial in Vancouver.

The event will be a more intimate spin on the Ponderosa Festival, with two stages, a silent auction, a merchants’ table, and six live acts throughout the night.