Elkhorn's first Habitat for Humanity home built on community
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Lori Potter and her children, Tawny, left and Dakota, pose for a photo on the porch of their new Habitat for Humanity home on move-in day. The home is a first in Elkhorn. Photo by Jean Van Dyke.
“Do all the good you can.
By all the means you can.
In all the ways you can.
In all the places you can.
At all the times you can.
To all the people you can.
As long as ever you can.”
-- John Wesley
ELKHORN--An atmosphere of accomplishment surrounded those attending the dedication and open house at 206 E. Marshall St. in Elkhorn recently, where many of the volunteers who had dedicated time to build the first Habitat for Humanity house in Elkhorn gathered.
It was the culmination of a four-year process, which began in November 2008, when Lori Potter filled out the application that started her and her two children on the road to homeownership.
(Read all of this week's stories from Walworth County Sunday HERE. )
On May 20, 2009, a group of people waving signs and shouting in her front yard delivered the message that she’d been accepted into the program. After an extended period of fundraising, the groundbreaking for the house took place March 17. Eight months later, Larry Green, interim director of Habitat for Humanity in Walworth County presented Potter and her children, Tawny and Dakota, with a Bible and a ceremonial key.
Green thanked the Lord, “who made the hearts and hands which went into this house.”
The board of directors of Habitat for Humanity in Walworth County, volunteers, contractors, family, friends and neighbors gathered to witness the dedication -- all the people who were behind the scenes as the three-bedroom house was built.
Duane Goetsch, who served as general contractor for the project, is also a minister, and, with Green, offered Scripture reading and prayers before offering the blessing of the house.
“There are just no words -- just thank you!” a tearful Potter said during the open house that followed the dedication. “It’s too much to express the gratitude and love we feel toward everyone who came together to create this house.”
Those who came together to celebrate the home’s dedication had volunteered every Saturday from the time the foundation, which was provided by Prairie Tree Service, was finished. The time put in once the walls started going up included two Saturdays in June, plus all of July, August and September. Twenty-five to 30 people spent eight hours each Saturday, either at the house or on material runs. That equates to 2,800 to 3,360 work hours -- all volunteer time.
As the homeowner, Potter also was on site any time work was being done, putting in her “sweat equity.” Goetsch praised her efforts.
“She worked really hard,” Goetsch said. “We could have used a dozen of her!”
Goetsch, who owns Woodpecker Hill Construction, worked throughout the week as needed, serving as the de facto general contractor, organizing not only volunteers, but also coordinating the many contractors.
Read the complete story in the Dec. 2 print or e-edition of Walworth County Sunday.