Old knickknacks help raise funds to build new homes in Arundel

Auction proceeds benefit Habitat for Humanity

February 15, 2004|By Sarah Lesher | Sarah Lesher,SUN STAFF

Tchotchkes were dragged out of basements, preserves pulled out of pantries and professionals donated their services - all in an auction to raise money for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's contribution to local affordable housing efforts.

The environmental group's recent auction of more than 40 items raised almost $1,500 to benefit the Arundel Habitat for Humanity.

Among the items for sale: a pair of new, size-13 golf shoes; refurbished trolling rig and lures; homegrown honey and homemade jams; classic Barbie dolls; and a Stetson cowboy hat.

"[Our office] looked like a garage by the time the party came around," said Susan O'Brien, the environmental group's media representative. "I was shocked they had raised that much money, because it really did look like a yard sale."

The fund-raiser, which the group hopes to repeat in future years, was the brainchild of Terry Cummings, the foundation's Maryland advocacy and outreach manager. Foundation employees got to select the auction's beneficiary from five organizations.

"Habitat got the most votes," said Cummings, whose daughter once worked for Habitat for Humanity.

Several of the foundation's employees also had taken part in a Habitat project on Clay Street in Annapolis. "We feel they're a great organization," Cummings said.

Arundel Habitat for Humanity is an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian organization that brings together people with skills or money to build affordable housing.

The houses are sold to those in need at no profit, with no-interest loans. The Arundel Habitat affiliate was founded in 1987 and has completed more than 65 homes in the county.

Cummings - who donated the honey for the holiday auction on behalf of Habitat - also solicited other donations. Others gave jams, jellies and relishes, some from plants grown on CBF's farm.

Bill Goldsborough, CBF senior scientist, made his donation from fishing tackle he'd inherited from his father, in addition to his own extensive collection.

He put together a kit that people who weren't hard-core fishermen, or were used to casting, could use to try trolling.

He took his father's rod and reel, oiled it, gave it a new line, and put together an assortment of lures, weights and swivels, "the whole nine yards," he said. The package went for $200.

John Page Williams, a senior naturalist, was one of several field workers who donated their services as a naturalist for the auction.

"I do this for a number of organizations," Williams said.

Arundel Habitat for Humanity was surprised by the financial donation.

"When we received it, I had to call and find what it was about," said director of development Yarrow, who goes by one name. "It's fabulous."

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