Habitat Breaks Ground in West Bainbridge
WEST BAINBRIDGE – A ground-breaking ceremony was held at the corner of Routes 17 and 206, Saturday morning, April 14, with the Chenango County Habitat for Humanity (CCHH) board members, project volunteers, dignitaries, and the partnering family, Lorraine Cornish and son, Garrett Newell. (Son Derek was unable to attend.) Everyone gathered in the field, the new home job site, for a festive blessing and official construction commencement. Congratulatory refreshments followed.
Kathy Knudsen, CCHH president, presided over the ceremony and introduced the honored guests. Representing the Bainbridge government was Town Supervisor Dolores Nabinger. Guest speaker, representing the 127th District, was Assemblyman Peter Lopez. Senator Thomas Libous was unable to attend; however, he sent an official proclamation, adorned with the state gold seal with blue ribbons that read, “Saluting CCHH upon the occasion of your fifth ground breaking.”
During Assemblyman Pete Lopez’s speech, he was very supportive and enthusiastic of Habitat’s mission. He was a founding member of Habitat for Humanity of Schoharie County. He said of building Habitat homes, “I wish we could do it more and faster!” In a down-to-earth manner, Pete stated that he has a “strong back” good for building and he pledged that he would be returning with his children to help with construction at this West Bainbridge site.
Attending the celebration from the board, was Joyce Ardron, CCHH vice president, who handled the refreshments; Construction Committee board members Sam Gainfort, Tom Murray, Noreen Monahan, and Bob Davis - past president, Building Committee chair and assistant treasurer. In addition, Marjory Clark - corresponding secretary; Carol Clum - Family Selection Committee; and Audrey and Harold Johnson, Promotion and Development coordinators were there. Elizabeth Newell, Lorraine’s mother; Louise Butcher, 4-H Leader; family friends and future neighbors also came to join in the celebration.
After a blessing by Kathy, and words of encouragement from Assemblyman Lopez, Lorraine, aided by son Garrett, joyfully dug into the earth with a ceremonial shovel to commemorate the start of construction of a house that will be built to suit her family’s individual needs. The ground-breaking was also symbolic of the fact that this family is ready to “dig-in” and be actively involved in various aspects of the construction, fundraising, and related areas of this project, to get the job done. Habitat for Humanity offers “a hand up, not a handout”, and the Newell-Cornish family is prepared to invest 350 hours of “sweat equity”, which serves as part of their investment. When the home is turned over to Lorraine, she will be responsible to pay a no-interest monthly mortgage payment suited to her income.
Thinking of volunteering? Your time, talents and resources are strongly needed. Chenango County Habitat for Humanity is looking for a site supervisor and a volunteer coordinator for this project. Contact Marjory at (607) 764-8341 or Kathy at 639-1176. By email: firstname.lastname@example.org . Please put "Habitat" on the subject line. Donations can be mailed to Marjory Clark at P.O. Box 68, Mt. Upton, NY 13809.