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NFL Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw will 'raise the roof' at Habitat event | Kitsap Week

 

Habitat for Humanity has a mansion-sized goal this year for its Raise the Roof fundraiser.

They hope to bring in $200,000, which is five times more than it raised last year.

“We are going well above and beyond what we’ve done in the past,” said organizer Carmela Kulbeth, fund developer for Habitat for Humanity of Kitsap County. “This event will surpass any other Raise the Roof.”

But for an organization that has built 63 homes since 1992, one could say Habitat knows how to hit the nail on the head, how to plumb a line, how to, well, raise a roof.

The black-tie gala is drawing people from across the state. Kulbeth expects up 1,500 guests. Previous years averaged an attendance of 500.

And while Kulbeth knows that Habitat for Humanity in itself is a big draw, this year’s event has football fans rising up from their Lazy-Boys and taking notice.

Terry Bradshaw, the Hall of Fame quarterback and sportscaster, will be the guest speaker at the event. Bradshaw, 63, played 14 seasons as quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers. In a six-year span, he won four Super Bowl titles (1974, 1975, 1978 and 1979), becoming the first quarterback to win three and four Super Bowls, and led the Steelers to eight AFC Central championships. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1989, his first year of eligibility.

Bradshaw is now a football analyst and co-host of Fox NFL Sunday.

Bradshaw has also written or co-written five books, recorded six albums of country/western and gospel music, and acted in several TV shows and films.

“People perk up when they hear about Habitat for Humanity. Many people have volunteered or have a connection with us,” Kulbeth said. “But bringing Terry Bradshaw in was an added bonus.”

The money raised at Raise the Roof will literally help to raise more roofs in Kitsap. Specifically, the money will help build 11 more homes. Ground breaking on two of the new projects, both in Bremerton, are set to begin soon.

A 32-unit project in Port Orchard is in the works as well.

For those unfamiliar with Habitat for Humanity, it is an international non-profit organization that builds homes for people in need. Thanks to the help of volunteers, homes are built at a deeply discounted cost.

“Everything we do is volunteer-based,” Kulbeth said. “Locally, we only have five paid staff members. Everything else is thanks to the thousands of volunteers who come help us.”

Volunteers help lay flooring, nail siding and paint —anything that needs to be completed. The future homeowners work alongside the volunteers and must commit to 500 sweat-equity hours.

And unlike traditional home-buying, Habitat for Humanity homeowners have to take classes on homeownership and money management.

When the day finally arrives and the keys are handed over to the owners, Kulbeth said it gives her chills.

“You take families who are low income and might not have the greatest credit history, and the stability of their jobs might be in question, but they need a home,” Kulbeth said. “That’s what we provide.”

According to the website for Habitat for Humanity of Kitsap County, the criteria for the home ownership program are: a need for decent housing, ability to pay a no-profit, no-interest mortgage and a willingness to be an active partner with Habitat.

Kulbeth said Habitat is currently taking applications for homes. The families who apply are carefully screened and need to have the ability to give back.

“We don’t just give them a home,” she said. “There is a process.”

And just because Habitat for Humanity builds homes for an economic price, that doesn’t mean they aren’t of quality and the newest products. In fact, a home recently completed in Suquamish has solar panels to generate its own electricity.

But before Habitat for Humanity volunteers can raise their hammers, they need to raise money— and that’s what’s happening on Sept. 23 at Raise the Roof. Doors open at 6 p.m. at the Kitsap Sun Pavilion at the Fairgrounds. Individual tickets are $90, a table of eight is $700. Tickets are available at: www.kitsaphabitat.org.

The night includes dinner and entertainment and a live auction. One item to be auctioned is a shed built by the Habitat store, Builders Bargains. It is composed entirely  of donated and recycled materials.

North Kitsap Herald Kitsap Week Erin Jennings can be reached at ejennings@northkitsapherald.comor (360) 779-4464.

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