Habitat for Humanity clicks its heels together for ‘There’s No Place Like Home’ fundraiser

Habitat for Humanity clicks its heels together for ‘There’s No Place Like Home’ fundraiser
Pictured from left are Tin Man - Eleni Fourkiotis

By Adam Brazeau 
CORNWALL, Ontario – Wizard of Oz characters followed the yellow brick road into Cornwall Saturday, as part of an audience participation screening at Galaxy Cinema in support of Habitat for Humanity Seaway Valley.

More than 100 moviegoers helped raised well over $1,000 for the non-profit, community-based organization.

“We wanted to put the fun in fundraiser,” said Charles Leclair, special events/marketing coordinator for Habitat for Humanity.

Dozens of youth dressed as their favourite Oz characters: cue the Fourkiotis siblings, who came as Dorothy (complete with Toto), Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, and Tin Man.

Their mother, Angela Matthews, said the 1939 classic was by far her favourite childhood movie, and jumped at the chance to share it with a new generation.

Matthews said: “I loved the title of the event. The whole thing was really well done. I wish more people came, but I think if they continue it will grow bigger.”

To add to the festivities, Jennifer MacDonald, a volunteer for Habitat, mingled with audience members dressed as Glinda, the Good Witch.

It wasn’t your typical movie screening either.

Guests were encouraged to bring five simple props from home – keys, flashlights, lollipops, bubbles, and a hat – to interact with the movie on cue. For example, when a character said the words ‘house’ and ‘home,’ the crowd would jingle their keys.

The Children’s Aid Society of SDG coordinated a face painting area manned by four staff members. The Seaway Valley Theatre Company donated props and costumes for the photo booth that was on site to help collect additional donations.

To date, 11 homes have been built for low-income families throughout SDG. Well, minus the ‘G’ that is. Only Stormont and Dundas residents have been the lucky recipients of the Habitat’s generosity.

The next ‘home build’ is targeted for Glengarry, but it won’t be anytime soon.

Leclair told Seaway News Habitat is taking a step back.

“We’re not building for 2015,” said Leclair. “We’re taking a year off to build a bank account.”

He added: “Typically what has happened in the past is we will have money to start building a home and half-way through we’re relying on our Re-store sales for funding to pay for the balance.”

Leclair said Habitat is looking at building a semi-detached in Glengarry in 2016 to potentially house two families to make up for the missed year.

Since the Re-store in Bonville’s sales support the majority of the home build, Leclair is working closely with executive director Leigh Taggart to help bring extra funds.

The ‘There’s No Place Like Home’ event was launched in 2013 when Warner Bros. and Habitat for Humanity formed a partnership in celebration of the film’s 75th anniversary to help the non-profit create decent, safe and affordable housing for low-income families.

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