CHRISTIANA – Some 200 friends and supporters of Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County came out on April 17 to pay tribute to the honorees of The 2014 Annual President’s Awards Dinner at White Clay Creek Country Club.
The ceremony, which was preceded by a VIP cocktail gathering and dinner, served to present eight awards to individuals and groups who demonstrated their support for Habitat NCC in extraordinary ways.
As part of the program, partner family members and Habitat staffers paired up to make the presentations as they respectively shared how the organization has impacted their lives and the successes the organization continues to see.
The crowd was particularly moved by prospective homeowner Tyrah Lusby. Lusby gave an emotional testimony about how Habitat NCC is giving her a sense of pride in the neighborhood gave her the opportunity to create roots in the same neighborhood in which she grew up as she presenter.
The award recipients were equally inspiring.
After the awards portion of the program, incoming board president, Noreen Poole, recognized transitioning board members, and introduced new board members.
It was a beautiful event where volunteers, donors, staff, and homeowners sat side-by-side and celebrated the past year’s accomplishments, and those who were instrumental in furthering Habitat’s mission.
Annual Dinner Award Winners
Jim Phillips has been volunteering with the ReStore for a few years and will always take on any task we need to get done. He works in our receiving area, helps customers with their purchases and also prices our donations. Jim is also our go-to guy when we need equipment built and most recently designed and constructed a number of carts we use to move our doors and windows. The carts Jim has built have allowed us to move our merchandise safely and effectively. Jim is a great guy, easy to work with and has become a valuable part of the ReStore family.
The Buccini/Pollin Group has made one of the largest donations the ReStore has ever received. And as a result of the large amount of quality furniture we received from them, traffic to our store has increased as well as revenue. When people hear we’re putting more Buccini/Pollin furniture on our showroom floor, a proverbial stampede ensues and the furniture never stays there long. The items Buccini/Pollin donated have resulted in tens of thousands of dollars in sales to the ReStore to date and that number continues to grow. Items donated by The Buccini/Pollin Group are now in demand by our customers and we continue to be grateful that the donations that began in the summer of 2013 continue to come in.
Phil Weir, a retired auto-mechanic business owner and U.S. Veteran, started volunteering at Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County construction sites in Feb. of 2013. Phil jumped right in, always ready to work and willing to help with any type of project. Phil also showed his dedication to Habitat by volunteering more than once a week, attending Habitat events, plowing the streets around the Habitat office and construction sites after snow storms and promoting Habitat’s work around the community. We can count on Phil – a great contributor to Habitat on many fronts – and we are honored to have him as one of our regular volunteers.
DuPont has a long history of outreach and active participation in improving our community and Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County is grateful to be a beneficiary of their generosity. Over the course of 2013, dozens of DuPont employees dedicated hundreds of volunteer hours to the construction of our Habitat homes in our Mill Stone III neighborhood as well as working in our warehouse. Prolific and experienced, DuPont volunteers come to Habitat sites with their own safety protocol. And as part of that protocol, they incorporated Habitat’s safety guidelines and are proactive in following and even enforcing them. DuPont volunteers continue to elevate their reputation as talented, quick learners who always work hard to get things done – not to mention they are loads of fun to be around. For more than 200 years, DuPont’s community outreach programs have contributed to the social progress, economic success and environmental well-being of neighbors all over the world and Habitat for Humanity of New Castle county is honored to be in that number.
Ruth and Roger Pernick have played a key role in staging our open houses in one of our Habitat homes, which Habitat hosts to allow the public see what the interior looks like. While the furniture arranged in the home is selected from our ReStore, Ruth and Roger also contacted people they knew and asked for donations of curtains, bedding and other finishing touches that make the house look lived-in and cozy. In addition to their help with the open houses the couple approached Habitat with another idea to promote the Restore: Designing stage sets for the DuPont Theater’s Smart Talk Series. Ruth and Roger’s idea was to bring in Restore furniture to decorate the stage. When it’s mentioned to the audience that the set was made up for ReStore merchandise, the news is met with collective “oooohs” and “ahhhhs.”
Tosh Spencer is a Habitat homeowner living in our Mill Stone I development. As a prospective homeowner, Tosh exhibited diligence and completed her requirements ahead of schedule. After settling on and receiving the keys to her home, Tosh referred a coworker to the program. After her colleague Artise Harrigan was accepted into the program, Tosh volunteered to be her support partner and has been a wonderful resource along her path to homeownership. For example, Artise would sometimes need a ride to meetings and events and Tosh would offer to help. Artise completed the program and on March 28, 2014 settled on and moved into her home in the Millstone development and is now Tosh’s neighbor.
Annabelle C. Kressman was chosen to be the very first recipient of this award to recognize all of the hard work she has put into Habitat’s development and fundraising efforts. As a Board Member and member of the Development Committee, Annabelle has been instrumental in introducing a new constituency of major gift donors to Habitat. She is a visionary. She is a leader. She is a connector. She convened a meeting of community leaders this past fall, and as a result, more than 100 pieces of original artwork were donated to Habitat. Out of that meeting, The Habitat for Humanity Art Auction was born and ever since Annabelle has been working non-stop on Habitat’s behalf to help grow its donor base and create awareness of the wonderful work it does.
President’s Award – Elisa and Dick Poole
This year Habitat had the honor of receiving a donation of more than 100 pieces of original artwork from Elisa and Dick Poole. Through The Habitat for Humanity Art Auction the Pooles’ donation generated $66,000 in funds that will be used to build more homes for low-income families in New Castle County. Dick and Elisa Poole have been collecting art from around the world for the better part of 50 years. Many of the pieces in their celebrated collection are devoted to Delaware art and has garnered the couple much respect from the local and international art community. It is with great pride and gratitude that Habitat presents the Pooles with the very first President’s Award.
WILMINGTON— More than 250 people packed the University of Delaware’s Arsht Hall on Friday, March 14 to take part in The Habitat for Humanity Art Auction.
The auction was made possible by an unprecedented donation by Delaware couple Dick and Elisa Poole, who decided to give Habitat more than 110 paintings from their 500-piece collection to be sold to benefit the organization.
Art lovers and Habitat supporters from all over took part in the evening, which began with a cocktail party and art preview and ended with more resources for Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County to build homes for deserving families.
“It’s really overwhelming for Habitat to be the recipient of such a generous donation,” said Habitat CEO Kevin L. Smith. “What the Pooles have done with this gift not only allows us to further our mission of serving children and families in New Castle County, but engage more people about how they can be a part of this important work.”
The event was presided over by Alasdair Nichol, Vice Chairman of Freeman’s Auctioneers and a regular appraiser in PBS’s Antiques Roadshow.
All 110 lots up for auction were sold, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County.
Over more than 50 years, Elisa and Dick Poole amassed a collection of more than 500 paintings by a wide spectrum of artists representative of many genres.
Inside the family’s gallery off the lobby of Wilmington’s Park Plaza, oil and watercolor landscape and seascape pieces, portraits and other works hang salon style, displaying the richness and subtlety created by artists from the mid-19th Century to the present.
And each has a story to tell.
It begins in 1963 – two weeks before the Pooles were married – when the couple bought their first painting.
The couple still owns the cherished work by Delaware artist Carolyn Blish, a watercolor of a woods path. Over the years, the painting has commemorated their marriage. Recently they added to their collection an oil painting of a breezy beach scene by Blish depicting rolling dunes rising behind a rickety sand fence.
In the summer of the following year, the Pooles visited Amsterdam and added a second painting — and more—to their collection.
“We kid around with each other because we think (the painting) was purchased either on the day or the day before our first child was conceived,” said Poole. “And that makes our daughter, who is now 48 years old, blush every time we tell the story in her presence.”
Decades of study and search would result in a first class collection that includes coveted works valued at thousands of dollars. But that’s not where the Pooles’ passion as collectors resides.
“We have some treasures … that may not have a lot of monetary value,” said the retired Delaware attorney. “But having them on our walls and thinking about when and where we got them and under what circumstances bring back happy memories every time we pass by where they’re hung.”
Now, the family wants others to have the chance to make similar memories through collecting their art, donating a large portion to Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County to be auctioned at an event with all the proceeds to benefit the organization.
On March 14, 2014, the Habitat for Humanity Art Auction: The Elisa and Dick Poole Collection will be held at Arsht Hall in Wilmington and will feature about 100 of their pieces.
“It’s such a shame to see homeless persons on the streets, particularly in big cities,” said Poole. “Habitat for Humanity is helping to alleviate homelessness, one family at a time.”
In 2012, Poole learned cancer had developed in his small intestine. It was a diagnosis serious enough for him to begin immediately the process of getting his affairs in order.
Longtime friend Annabelle Kressman, a Habitat board member, and a stellar committee of artists and art aficionados inspired him to donate his collection to benefit Habitat.
“I didn’t know too much about Habitat for Humanity but I did understand its importance and supported its mission,” said Poole. “So when I had this opportunity I really thought it was something…to share the passion my wife and I have had with others and perhaps they would carry the torch forward in collecting or appreciating art for their own enjoyment.”
Poole has since undergone two successful surgeries and with the exception of sore feet – a side effect from the medication he’s taking—he says he feels “pretty good.”
He also beams with excitement when he talks about the auction’s special guest, world-class auctioneer Alasdair Nichol. Nichol, who’s also vice chairman of Freeman’s Auction House in Philadelphia and a fixture on PBS’s Antiques Roadshow, has agreed to donate his services to the event.
“For those who haven’t come to auctions before, they will be very entertained by Alasdair Nichol and very impressed by his expertise,” said Poole. “I hope it will be an experience for many who have no intention whatsoever (of purchasing) once they get there to see the excitement of an auction and see that many of the paintings will go for very reasonable prices.”
In planning the auction, Kressman’s committee believed it was important the event be held with no reserve values attached to the lots. This means there will be no minimum bids.
“A painting that may be worth $1,000 could well go for $100 or $200,” said Poole, who predicts there will be bargains to be had. “And that is good because if someone gets a good buy and enjoys the painting in his or her home, over the years, that will be gratifying to me because it will increase someone’s appreciation for art (and) it will be good for Habitat for Humanity.”
March 14, 2014
Preview of selection begins at 5:30 p.m.
Auction begins at 7 p.m.
2800 Pennsylvania Avenue
Wilmington, DE 19806
Leon Tucker, Director of Communications
Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County
O: 302.652.0365 x108
Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County has been building affordable housing with low-income families since 1986. Since our inception, we have built more than 200 homes in areas throughout New Castle County including the City of Wilmington, Middletown, Newark, New Castle, and St. Georges. As a local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, we are among the top three largest affiliates in the Northeast (of over 210 affiliates from Delaware to Maine) in terms of home construction. Through our unique approach, we help low-income families break the cycle of poverty through the stability and empowerment gained through homeownership.
Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County’s ReStore Awarded $200,000 from Bank of America Charitable Foundation
Grant Coincides with ReStore’s First Anniversary
WILMINGTON, DE – The Bank of America Charitable Foundation has named Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County (HFHNCC) for the 2013 Neighborhood Builders® award. The program is a strategic investment that couples a $200,000 unrestricted grant with leadership training for high-performing nonprofits that have made a significant impact addressing needs related to community development, critical needs or workforce development and education. Nonprofit leaders gain valuable skills and apply funding where it is most needed for maximum local impact.
The Neighborhood Builders award will have the greatest impact on the HFHNCC ReStore as it continues to demonstrate both the ability to generate some of its own revenue through ReStore operations and growth potential as it celebrates its first successful year at Price Corner.
“We recognize the important role Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County plays in serving our most vulnerable residents and ensuring better lives for so many in our community,” said Chip Rossi, Delaware market president for Bank of America. “The funding to support the Habitat ReStore venture and leadership training will not only deepen their impact today but sustain their mission and services over time.”
HFNCC ReStore is a non-profit business venture supporting the community through the resale of new and used home improvement and renovation supplies. The HFHNCC ReStore specializes in the resale of overstocked/discontinued new and gently used merchandise, donated by manufacturers, stores, contractors and individuals.
“Bank of America has been a significant supporter of our affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization efforts, and now through the Neighborhood Builders award they are demonstrating their commitment to nonprofits that are entrepreneurial as well,” said Kevin Smith, CEO of HFHNCC. “We are grateful for their varied and significant support.”
The grant funding will also increase staff, advertising and dramatically grow donations, which will drive customer interest, sales and net income. The support will place Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County in a better long-term position to continue revitalizing neighborhoods and create opportunities to provide affordable housing to more Delawareans.
The HFHNCC ReStore opened for business in 2004 at the warehouse attached to the organization’s main office in Wilmington and in 2008 moved to a 10,000-square-foot location in New Castle. With the need for more visibility and room to expand, the HFHNCC ReStore relocated to its current 30,000-square-foot Prices Corner last November, where it did $26,000 in sales on the first day. The store is on track to end this year with $625,000 in sales.
“Our new location helped us double our sales and we are planning to double sales again to $1.2 million in another four years,” said Joe Robertson, ReStore Manager. “This grant is going to give us the ability to meet that goal.”
According to the Bridgespan Group, Neighborhood Builders is the largest investment in nonprofit leadership development, 2.5 times the next largest program (in spending) and the third largest in number of leaders served. Through the program, now in its tenth year, Bank of America has invested $160 million in 800 nonprofit organizations and provided training to 1,600 nonprofit leaders. Neighborhood Builders furthers the company’s broader philanthropic commitment to addressing core issues that are critical to the economic vitality of local economies, with a particular focus on low- and moderate-income communities.
Bank of America Corporate Social Responsibility
Bank of America’s commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a strategic part of doing business globally. Our CSR efforts guide how we operate in a socially, economically, financially and environmentally responsible way around the world, to deliver for shareholders, customers, clients and employees. Our goal is to help create economically vibrant regions and communities through lending, investing and giving. By partnering with our stakeholders, we create value that empowers individuals and communities to thrive and contributes to the long-term success of our business. We have several core areas of focus for our CSR, including responsible business practices; environmental sustainability; strengthening local communities with a focus on housing, hunger and jobs; investing in global leadership development; and engaging through arts and culture. As part of these efforts, employee volunteers across the company contribute their time, passion and expertise to address issues in communities where they live and work. Learn more at www.bankofamerica.com/about and follow us on Twitter at @BofA_Community.
About the ReStore
The ReStore is a non-profit business venture supporting the community through the resale of new and used home improvement and renovation supplies. The Habitat ReStore specializes in the resale of overstocked/discontinued new and gently used merchandise, donated by manufacturers, stores, contractors and individuals. These items are sold to the public at a discount of 50%-90% off of retail prices. Proceeds benefit Habitat for Humanity’s building operations. The ReStore is located at 3312 Seminole Drive, Wilmington, DE 19808, (behind the Prices Corner McDonald’s) (302) 652-5181.
Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County has been building affordable housing with low-income families since 1986. Since our inception, we have built more than 200 homes in areas throughout New Castle County including the City of Wilmington, Middletown, Newark, New Castle, and St. Georges. As a local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, we are among the top three largest affiliates in the Northeast (of over 210 affiliates from DE to Maine) in terms of home construction. Through our unique approach, we help low-income families break the cycle of poverty through the stability and empowerment gained through homeownership.
# # #
Leon Tucker, Habitat for Humanity
Phone: 302.652.0365 x108
Nicole Nastacie, Bank of America
Wilmington-based developer, owner and management company The Buccini/Pollin Group, Inc. (BPG), owner of The Residences at City Center, donated more than 745 pieces of furniture to Habitat for Humanity on Wednesday, October 2, 2013.
The Residences at City Center offers fully furnished, extended-stay studio, one bedroom and two bedroom accommodations.
The furniture was being stored at 1105 Delaware Avenue, another one of The Buccini / Pollin Group’s properties. The Residences at City center is currently going through a renovation process and Tamara Holt, property manager at The Residences at City Center wanted the furniture to go to a good cause. “A lot of the furniture was barely used and some is even brand-new. All of it is extremely sturdy and well-made as it is built to last for the hotel industry. It is a great feeling to know all of it is going to be utilized.”
Gordon, Bell and Powers Take Backhoe to Problem Properties to Make Way For Working Families
Representatives from New Castle County government, including New Castle County Executive Thomas P. Gordon and New Castle County Council members Bill Bell and William Powers mark the beginning of Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County’s newest construction undertaking, by helping to level four abandoned homes on East Lake Street.
Gordon, Powers and Bell will take turns at the helm of a backhoe, helping raze recently purchased properties on East Lake Street and the corner of East Lake and Catherine Street, making way for a total of seven new townhomes. Properties were purchased by Habitat from private sale with the federal HOME funds distributed by New Castle County.
This project marks the return of Habitat to the town of Middletown. Habitat most recently completed construction in August 2010 on the six-townhome project Grace Point. Habitat has a long history of building affordable homes in Middletown, with 22 homes completed.
“I am extremely happy to have Habitat in Middletown providing much needed affordable housing for members of our great community. It is within walking distance of the New Castle County Appoquinimink Library and other businesses within the town. Every citizen in New Castle County should have the opportunity to live and raise their family in both a house and a home.”
Thanks to a generous donation from the Community Education Building (CEB), Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County (HFHNCC) will receive more than nine floors of building materials and other items such as doors, windows, cabinets, furniture and other fixtures from inside the former Bank of America Bracebridge IV building.
Formerly used to house part of its headquarters for credit cards and consumer banking products, Bank of America announced on February 16, 2012 that it would donate the Bracebridge IV building to the Longwood Foundation. The Longwood Foundation subsequently created a separate entity, the Community Education Building Corporation, to receive the donation and transform it to a home for several charter schools.
In keeping with the spirit of building a stronger, more connected community, representatives from Wohlsen recommended to the CEB that it donate to the HFHNCC ReStore any usable furniture and housing materials removed from the building. The donation is expected to include doors, windows, carpet, cabinetry, and many other building materials.
“During the evaluation of the scope of the project, we realized that cabinetry and over one hundred doors could be reused,” said Mike Berardi, Vice President for Wohlsen Construction. “Based on our past history of working together in various manners, we immediately thought of Habitat for Humanity and recognized that these items could be donated to the ReStore, ultimately benefiting the community.”
The ReStore sells new and gently used construction and home goods to the public at greatly reduced prices, and all money earned from ReStore sales directly supports HFHNCC’s construction and home restoration efforts in New Castle County.
“These donations substantially increase the volume of available housing materials at our ReStore and ultimately provide us with increased revenue to put towards building quality, affordable homes in New Castle County,” said Kevin L. Smith, CEO of HFHNCC. “We are thankful to the Community Education Building for the generous gift and to Wohlsen Construction for creating the opportunity, and we look forward to seeing the development of this building’s new education community.”