Area coffee shops surely felt a slowdown in business on Wednesday, May 7, as nearly 700 supporters got their java jolt at the 11th annual Breakfast for Humanity, hosted by Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver. The event, held at Infinity Park Event Center, was a celebration to thank sponsors, vendors and volunteers for their time, donations and hard work. It was also a chance to introduce the Habitat “building a foundation for success” credo to newcomers.

CEO Heather Lafferty, the Angel Meza family and Cheryl Preheim

CEO Heather Lafferty, the Angel Meza family and Cheryl Preheim

The organization’s largest fundraiser of the year featured a packed one-hour program of speakers and video presentations that surrounded a complimentary sit-down breakfast served by Footers Catering. Vivacious 9News anchor Cheryl Preheim emceed the program with energy and sincerity—not only an event host, but an active Habitat hammer-wielder. She promised guests they would be so inspired by event speakers, “…you will be skipping to work.” Rev. Dr. James E. Fouther, Jr., of United Church of Montbello not only offered a pre-meal blessing, but a short inspirational talk surrounding the “theology of the hammer” concept, quoting from Habitat for Humanity founder Millard Fuller’s book.

Heather Lafferty, Habitat Metro Denver’s CEO and project participant, spoke about the positive impact of Habitat projects on families and the community along with the definition of home—and the difference that Habitat owners felt after being part of the build-and-buy process. Angel Meza, along with her children Christian, Danielle, Rebekah and Paris, each spoke about their Habitat home experience, and guests were also treated to videos celebrating the organization’s 35th year. Board vice president Steve Shaffer ended the program with a call for donations—and most of the guests grabbed a pen to fill in various dollar amounts on their pledge cards.

Habitat for Humanity was established in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller to address poverty housing on a global scale through “partnership housing.” The Fullers’ concept centers on those in need of adequate shelter working side by side with volunteers to build simple, decent houses. Habitat’s no-profit and no-interest financing is affordable. And the “Fund for Humanity” (homeowner mortgage payments, no-interest loans and fundraising dollars) provides the capital needed to build. Today Habitat for Humanity has completed more than 600,000 homes around the world, completing the construction or repair of a home at the rate of one every 5.5 minutes.

Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver was established in 1979 by a group of passionate volunteers who worked tirelessly to raise funds, acquire land, select families and manage all of the logistics to build the first Habitat homes in Denver. Since then, Habitat Metro Denver has become one of the largest affiliates in the U.S., celebrating the construction of a 500th home in 2012. In 2014, the organization announced a goal to serve 500 more families in five years. For more information, please visit: https://www.habitatmetrodenver.org/