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ND Habitat breaks ground for new house

EILEEN DUFFY | Tuesday, October 12, 2004

After six months of fundraising, Notre Dame’s Habitat for Humanity chapter officially broke ground Monday on its 11th home. The house, located at 2350 Linden Street, will be 1000 square feet in size and will feature three bedrooms and one bathroom.At least 15 volunteers are signed up to build on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, but the first Monday of fall break kicks off Blitz Build – a five-day event in the construction process that combines the efforts of students and alumni. “I think Blitz Build really marks the beginning of the year for Habitat and gets the ball rolling,” said Pete Mahoney, co-president of ND Habitat for Humanity. “On Monday, it’s a foundation – all of a sudden, on Friday, it’s a house.” The Notre Dame chapter of Habitat has been working to raise the $60,000 dollar minimum since the dedication of its last house in April 2004. “Some people think in general that Habitat is just going out and building houses, but there’s so much more – especially at a collegiate level – because we are entirely autonomous in funding our house,” said Mahoney. According to University policies, the club may not independently solicit corporate donations and often looks to alumni groups.Colin Dowdall, who also served as co-president of the club last year, organized the Blue and Gold luncheon in the spring 2004 for alumni supporters of ND Habitat for Humanity. The luncheon, held at the Morris Inn during the Blue and Gold game weekend, raised $7,000 for the club and came at a pivotal time.”[The Blue and Gold luncheon] came at a time when we were in the red,” Dowdall said. He came up with the idea freshman year and made it a priority as president. “It was kind of a way of saying thanks to all the alumni who support us,” Dowdall said. “We wouldn’t be here right now if it weren’t for them.” The club also holds concession stands on football Saturdays, the most recent of which netted $3,600. Total donations are about $2,200. The house will be finished and dedicated in April 2005, at which time fundraising will start again. “Our goal is to make sure that the next generation, after we graduate, will continue to build a house each year, and establish an alumni network to build, possibly, two houses a year.”