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The Thursday kickoff at 823 Gillette Ave. in Aurora launched three days of construction by 70 women...

Aurora-area women – Women Build – launch Habitat for Humanity home (with photos)

AURORA, Ill., May 9, 2019–Decked out in “She Nailed It” T-shirts, 20 Aurora-area women launched construction Thursday of Women Build 2019, Fox Valley Habitat for Humanity’s first home built by female volunteers.
 
The Thursday kickoff at 823 Gillette Ave. in Aurora launched three days of construction by 70 women, 20 each on Thursday and Friday and 30 on Saturday. Women are scheduled to complete the frame ranch with detached garage by January. A groundbreaking ceremony was held in March.
Rona Hunter-Foltos part of Women Build

Rona Hunter-Foltos of Batavia was among 20 women who launched construction Thursday of Women Build 2019, a Fox Valley Habitat for Humanity home at 823 Gillette Ave. in Aurora. Completion of the frame ranch with detached garage is scheduled for January. (Al Benson photo)

Fox Valley Habitat, a housing ministry based at Genesis Community Church in Montgomery, sponsors the 2019 Women Build. The project got underway with a welcome from Ron Kelso of Yorkville, chairman of Habitat’s board of directors.
After directions from Julie Clark, Habitat volunteer coordinator, and a prayer by Barb Zegiel, Habitat funds coordinator, volunteers grabbed hammers and set to work nailing pink-hued studs to frame interior walls.
Following Habitat tradition, volunteers wrote messages on the pink studs to the future homeowner Elsa Macias and her daughters Minerva and Vivian.
Heidi’s Cake and Pastries in Geneva donated breakfast refreshments. Starbuck’s donated coffee.  
Rona Hunter-Foltos, left, and Katherine BruckWomen  part of Women Build

Batavia resident Rona Hunter-Foltos, left, and Katherine Bruck, Yorkville, team up during construction Thursday of Women Build 2019, a Fox Valley Habitat for Humanity home at 823 Gillette Ave. in Aurora. Twenty women launched construction of the frame ranch with detached garage. Completion is scheduled for January. (Al Benson photo)

Mentors from Habitat who assisted volunteers were Al Green, Montgomery, Habitat construction supervisor; Kevin Hennessy, Oswego; and John Lear and Walter Woods, Naperville.
Women executives scheduled to speak at 8 a.m. Friday are Kristen Ziman, Aurora police chief; Lauren Voit, Great Western Flooring Co.; and Tamara Shaw, TCS Associates and Premiere Designs Jewelry. Scheduled to speak at 8 a.m. Saturday is Barbara Hernandez- IL State Representative-Dist. 83. 
Rev. Jeff Barrett, Habitat CEO, said more women are needed to complete the project..He said women age 16 and older are invited to volunteer. Individuals and teams of six women are welcome. Volunteers are asked to donate $250 per day for building materials and other expenses.
The Macias’ home will be Habitat’s 63rd built or upgraded in Aurora, North Aurora and Montgomery since the nonprofit housing ministry’s founding in 1988.
 
Rev. Barrett said,”Women Build is Habitat for Humanity’s program that empowers women to learn construction skills, build homes, and build communities. Volunteers come together from all walks of life to build stronger and safer communities.
 
“Women and children make up the majority of people populating Habitat neighborhoods, as they are the most likely to be affected by poor living conditions. Women Build events provide the opportunity for women to take a proactive step in serving their communities,” Rev. Barrett said
.
Volunteers receive a Women Build t-shirt, catered lunch on site, personalized fundraising website and office support. For more information, contact Habitat volunteer coordinator Julie Clark at (630) 206-5034 or j.clark@foxvalleyhabitat.org.
 
Founded in 1988, Fox Valley Habitat is based at Genesis Community Church in Montgomery. A Habitat warehouse is at 250 S. Highland Ave. in Aurora.
 
The nondenominational Christian housing ministry partners with people in need to deliver affordable shelter. More than 200 residents of Aurora, North Aurora and Montgomery have been served through 62 new or upgraded homes.
 
Volunteers and donations of funds and materials are needed to continue the ministry. Call (630) 859-3355 for more information.
 
Update… Photos from Friday, May 10, 2019
Wall going up May 10

Aurora resident Lawella Szweda, left, is among 20 women teaming up to raise a wall Friday for a Fox Valley Habitat for Humanity home at 823 Gillette Ave. in Aurora. Szweda, a Habitat volunteer, partnered with Habitat to rehab and obtain her home on Aurora’s East Side in 2013. The Friday wall raising took place on the second day of a three-day launch of Women Build 2019, a first Habitat house built by women for women. Completion is scheduled for January. (Al Benson photo)

Group of women on May 10

Lauren Voit, center front row, president of Naperville-based Great Western Flooring Co., poses with her team of employees who volunteered Friday at a Fox Valley Habitat for Humanity home in Aurora. Before wielding her hammer, Voit was among three motivational speakers addressing 20 women volunteering for Women Build 2019, a Habitat home launched Thursday for women by women. Completion of the house at 823 Gillette Ave. in Aurora is scheduled for January. (Al Benson photo)

Welcome on  May 10

Lauren Voit, left, president of Naperville-based Great Western Flooring Co., welcomes volunteers Friday at a Fox Valley Habitat for Humanity construction site in Aurora. Before swinging her hammer, Voit was among three motivational speakers who addressed 20 women volunteering for Women Build 2019, a Habitat home launched Thursday for women by women. Completion of the house at 823 Gillette Ave. in Aurora is scheduled for January. (Al Benson photo)

Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman, at Women Build May 10

Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman, center, welcomes 20 women volunteering Friday at a Fox Valley Habitat for Humanity construction site in Aurora. From left are Al Green, Montgomery, Habitat construction supervisor; Ziman; and Aurorans Lawella Szweda and Rubi Mata, Habitat homeowners. Launched Thursday at 823 Gillette Ave. in Aurora was Women Build 2019, a Habitat home built by women for women. Completion is scheduled for January. (Al Benson photo)


More information on Fox Valley Habitat for Humanity is available at: http://www.chicagolandhabitat.org/site/PageServer?pagename=home_fox

Related articles at XPian News: https://xpian.news/category/aurora/

Al Benson
Freelance Photo-Journalist

Al Benson is an Aurora-based freelance photo-journalist. He is currently an archives research specialist at Aurora University. His work has appeared in The Voice, The Daily Herald, The Beacon-News, and the Chicago Tribune.






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