Submitted by Fox Valley Habitat for Humanity
With about 100 friends attending, a Batavia single mother of three celebrated a new home on Jan. 26. Renee Fortuny and her children, Kayla Walker, 8, Charlie Walker, 7, and Maya Walker, 5, received keys to a 1,250-square-foot frame ranch home at 355 Michigan Ave., Aurora when Montgomery-based Fox Valley Habitat for Humanity dedicated its 50th home since 1989.
Relatives, friends and Habitat volunteers crowded the rehabbed structure that was donated by the city of Aurora.
Eighth Ward Alderman Rick Mervine was among speakers. Ron Kelso of Naperville, Habitat vice president, urged visitors to support Habitat with funds, volunteer labor and in-kind donations.
Prayer and refreshments concluded the event.
The celebration culminated about five months of work on Thursdays and Saturdays by more than 100 volunteers. Montgomery resident Al Green supervised volunteer crews handling the remodeling.
The Rev. Jeff Barrett, Habitat executive director and pastor of Genesis Community Church in Montgomery, presided at the dedication service.
The home includes three bedrooms and one-and-one-half baths.
At the dedication, Habitat officials introduced selected volunteers who rehabbed the townhouse on Thursdays and Saturdays since September 2012.
According to Fortuny, members of First Baptist Church in Geneva donated furniture and decorations for her children's rooms and bathroom supplies and decorations.
Donating materials were Lumber Liquidators, Aquatech Plumbing, Assured Heating and Appliance, Whirlpool, Yale Locks, and Sherwin Williams.
Volunteer groups included Trader Joe's of Batavia, First Hmong Alliance Church of Aurora, H.B. Fuller Co., Schneider Electric and Wrigley Inc., and others.
Financial support for the project is expected from the Habitat ReStore, a retailer of home-building and other supplies, in Fox Valley Westfield mall in Aurora.
Habitat's first 48 homes were located in Aurora and Montgomery. The Montgomery-based Habitat affiliate has about 1,000 volunteers who have built affordable shelter for more than 200 people in Aurora, North Aurora and Montgomery.
Habitat sells houses to qualified families at no profit. Partnering families contribute up to 500 hours of sweat equity and repay a zero-interest mortgage. Loan payments are used to build more houses.
Donations of materials, land, funds, and volunteer services are needed to continue the Habitat ministry.