Habitat For Humanity BBQ For The Troops

Back in May, I wrote about an event we participated in for the local Habitat For Humanity chapter. It was a WE (Women’s Empowerment) Build and I got to go be a “Handy Andy” (token guy, aka brute labor) because The Long Suffering Wife is on the board.

Today we got to participate in a much less strenuous event. The Habitat For Humanity San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valleys organization specializes in building homes for veterans. They are in the process of building a tract of twelve “Habitat For Heroes” homes in Sylmar, CA, and today was the groundbreaking for a tract of eighty-seven “Habitat For Heroes” homes in Santa Clarita, CA. (This, by the way, is huge — I was told today that it’s the largest Habitat For Humanity community ever built in the US.)

In addition to the groundbreaking ceremony, there was a great BBQ (free to active military and veterans) and a USO show. Plus an art show, booths from various veterans and military assistance groups, booths from Habitat’s corporate sponsors and partners, and so on. All of the food, entertainment, and support items were donated by our generous sponsors and partners, so all of the funds raised will go to help build those houses.

The Long Suffering Wife and I were helping to staff a table where visitors could get information about the process of applying for an opportunity to buy one of these homes, as well as a table where we had information on our local ReStore.

photo 1Opening ceremonies, with Peter Gravett of CalVet. In the background you can see all of the corporate sponsors that are helping to make today’s event and the construction of these houses happen.

photo 2It was a decent turnout for the groundbreaking ceremonies, although even more people came later for the BBQ and show. A huge accident (which we just skirted around ourselves) on a nearby freeway caused a lot of people to be delayed. Life in LA…

photo 3The groundbreaking ceremony itself, golden shovels and all. Many of those on the right side are veteran and military families that have already been approved to purchase homes in this tract.

photo 4Radio Disney was there, with lots of music and games for kids. Other groups had face painting, crafts, and other family-friendly activities.

photo 5Rattler’s Bar-B-Que provided much of the food. We like BBQ. A lot. We really, really liked Rattler’s BBQ.

photo 6The USO tour had a pair of stand-up comics (Erik Knowles and Justin Wood), the Cal Arts Jazz Trio, and actress Melora Hardin (“Monk”, “The Office”) singing with the Late Night Jazz Orchestra.

photo 7Here’s the true star of the show, the property as preliminary grading has been started…

photo 8…and how it’s going to look in a year or so.

The weather was great, the people were a joy to be with, the food was fantastic, the show was excellent, and all in all it was a wonderful way to spend the day. I wish you all could have been there with us.

(Of course, now it’s almost 19:00 and I have yet to start my NaNoWriMo writing for the day. Good thing that I’m way ahead of my projected word count pace. Mama said there’d be days like this.)







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