For many people, “affordable housing” is a contradiction of terms. The LowCountry Habitat for Humanity is addressing this problem one family and one home at a time, and many Dataw Island members are supporting this process.
Having already completed two Dataw Island-funded builds (at the rate of $75,000+ each), fundraising for the “Dataw 3” officially kicked off with the Ninth Annual Habitat for Humanity Resolution Run, with over 100 registered runners and walkers.
LowCountry Habitat for Humanity’s Marketing & Resource Development Director, Janie Lackman, says “Dataw’s support has been incredible for the LowCountry Habitat for Humanity. We truly wouldn’t be able to survive without the volunteers and financial support we get from the Dataw community."
Members of Dataw Island volunteer in many facets of Habitat, from fundraising to hands-on construction, and Lackman noted that Dataw members also serve on just about every single committee, including the Board of Directors.
On Saturday, walkers, and canines from both on-island and off-island lined up near the Dataw Island Marina for the 5K and 10K, and many brought their canine companions to compete as well.
Event Coordinator Barbara Krakehl is a passionate supporter of Habitat and is almost as equally passionate about running. “Running is a 40 year passion and I love sharing that experience. I have worked with LowCountry Habitat for Humanity for 15 years because affordable housing is so scarce in Beaufort County. Working on the construction crew is hard work but it affords opportunities to learn new skills and to meet new people from the Beaufort area. My role with Habitat has expanded to include fundraising activities so the Resolution Run combines my interests and has been beneficial to the Habitat building budget.”
Krakehl also hosted a training group this year to help coach beginners through their first 5K. “I had one faithful participant who met her goal of completing her first 5K race after just 4 weeks of training, and it was such a joy to share in her success. Inviting runners, walkers and dogs to Dataw is great -- I love to hear their enthusiastic comments about the natural beauty and the friendly welcome they receive at Dataw.”
Kathy Lee, one of the founding coordinators of the Dataw Island dog walkers club, brought her Bernese mountain dog, Chance. With 100-pounds of puppy energy to expend, supporting Habitat for Humanity through the 5K was an easy decision. “Chance has so many friends on the island, and it is a beautiful day to be out here!”
The Resolution Run was preceded Friday night by a health fair hosted at the Dataw Island Community Center, which was attended by special guests Denise and Jamie Simmons, who will be the recipients of the Brays 2 house once complete. (The beneficiaries of the Dataw 3 house have not yet been named.)
Individuals or groups can create matching grants in order to multiply their funds by joining forces in a matching grant. "Right now there is a very generous partner on Dataw Island who is willing to match dollar per dollar up to $10,000 this month, so it’s a great time to get your donation in so it is matched!” said Lackman.
Funds from the race event are going to go towards the Dataw 3 house. The Dataw 2 house was completed in November and the Sawyer family moved in just before Thanksgiving – and they were thrilled to be in their new home in time for the holidays.
“Although Dataw is credited with raising the funds for two houses,” Lackman said, “I wouldn’t say Dataw has only built two houses – through their involvement and support in the women’s build and other support & involvement, the community has been involved in all 52 that we’ve built!"
A special THANK YOU to all the event sponsors, donors, volunteers, participants, and staff.
Race results are available at RunSignUp.com.
More photos can be found on the Dataw Island Facebook page.