RANDOLPH, NJ- At this year’s Morris Habitat for Humanity Hearts & Hammers Gala almost 300 people mingled, ate very well and rocked to music from the band, Escapade, where the bass player, Robert Rosenberger, is a future Morris Habitat homeowner (Carlton Street, Morris Township).   

The evening activities began with digital “red carpet” photos and ended with a delicious dessert buffet and a cigar rolling demonstration.  Other highlights of the evening included “Build it Now!,” a digital home that was “built” as guests donated funds to Morris Habitat. The always popular Silent Auction included some unique and special items, such as original artwork by Morris Habitat Homeowner and professional artist, David Gavasheli, tickets to Dancing with the Stars, and a scenic flight donated by the Morris Aero Club.

Every year Morris Habitat honors several people and corporations. This year awards were presented to three members of the Morris Habitat family who have given generously of their time and expertise:

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Founders Award: Peter Wentworth, Wentworth Associates

Corporate Partnership Award: Travelers Insurance

Beth Everett Award: Jim Mullen, Esquire

Morris Habitat also wants to thank all the event sponsors that make the Gala a reality.

Premier Sponsor – Bayer. 

Platinum Sponsors – Investors Bank and the Morris Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors. 

Gold Sponsors – GAF, Kraus Marketing, Lakeland Bank, Provident Bank, PWC and Travelers. 

Silver Sponsors – Atlantic Health System, Fox Rothschild LLP, G4S, Donald & Teeny Kuhn, NCJAR, New Jersey Natural Gas, NISIVOCCIA LLP, Sophie & Rickard Palla, Peapack-Gladstone Bank, Ruth Ryan, Stage It 123, Jeannie & Andrew Tsukamoto, Esq., Wentworth Associates, LLC, Wilson Elser, and Withum Tax Audit Advisory.

Akirah Farrell,and her seven-year-old daughter, recently moved into a Morris Habitat home in Morristown and shared her experiences with the attendees to put the evening’s purpose into perspective.  She gave a very heartfelt speech telling everyone about her life and desire to do better for herself and her daughter. 

While working full time, Akirah went to school for an advanced degree.  However, despite all her efforts she has not been able to afford a place of her own. That is until she applied for and was selected to be a Morris Habitat homeowner.  Akirah said, “thank you all for supporting Morris Habitat. With your help, I purchased a home I can afford, which provides independence, stability and peace of mind. With your help, my daughter has a home where she can stretch out, ride her bike and be a kid.”

Raising funds for safe, decent affordable housing is what the Hearts & Hammers Gala is all about. The funds raised from this event will help Morris Habitat meet the 2016 goal of starting 12 homes.  The success of the Gala depends on the involvement of many people. Morris Habitat can’t thank  all the sponsors, donors, and attendees enough. The planning for and logistics of the evening were flawless, thanks to the efforts of dedicated volunteers, many of whom help out year after year! 

For more information on Morris Habitat and its activities, go to http://morrishabitat.org or call 973.891.1934.

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About Morris Habitat for Humanity:

Morris Habitat for Humanity is part of a global, nonprofit housing organization operated on Christian principles by building homes, communities and hope. Morris Habitat is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes; advocating for fair and just housing policies; and providing training and access to resources to help families improve their living conditions. Habitat for Humanity was founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should live in dignity and safety, and that decent shelter in decent communities should be a matter of conscience and action for all. Morris Habitat welcomes volunteers and supporters from all backgrounds and serves people in need of decent housing regardless of race or religion.

Since 1985 Morris Habitat has served 400 households though home ownership opportunities, home preservation, and international home building programs. Of these 62 home were home repair projects and 74 new homes were built as well.  Morris Habitat has set a goal of 12 housing starts for 2016, completing 9 homes during the year. In addition, proceeds from the ReStore, opened May 2007, have funded 18 homes and diverted almost 5,100 tons of useable material out of landfills.  Located at 274 South Salem Street, Randolph. Store hours: Tues & Thur 10 - 8 p.m., Wed, Fri & Sat 10 - 6 p.m.