Hometown Habitat News

You’re Invited! 2024 Pink Champagne Party!


Join us for our sixth Women Build project constructing Habitat Lake-Sumter’s 300th Habitat home! 

Women Build is an annual nationwide initiative that invites women from all walks of life to join together to fundraise and build a brand new home in our community.

Gather your friends and come build with us!

WHAT:  Pink Champagne Party kickoff for Women Build 2024 

WHEN:  Wednesday, March 20th from 6p-8p

WHERE:  RoMac Training Center located at 200 E Main Street, Leesburg, FL 

RSVP by March 15th via email to melanie@habitatls.org


If you feel that it’s your time to sign up and create a fundraising team, or to simply give a donation. Contact Melanie at 352-483-0434, extension 141, for details.

Sponsor of the Month: LGI Homes

lgi homes sponsor of the month july 2023

When you look at the LGI HOMES list of core values you’ll see that they are in alignment with the values that Habitat for Humanity Lake-Sumter operates with: Integrity; Ethical behavior; and Loyalty, to name a few.

Our Sponsor of the Month sits down to share why they’ve partnered with Habitat Lake-Sumter and why it matters for businesses to get involved in the community.

What is your name, and your role with LGI Homes?

John Gammon, Project Manager

What impact did LGI make partnering with Habitat Lake-Sumter for a team build day?

It was a great day overall for the entire team. They got out of the office, and it was a different experience for the Sales team to get to see the construction, and be hands on for the day. Meeting the homeowner we were building for really put it into a special perspective for the team too. LGI Homes has been giving back to the community we serve since 2016, with our LGI Giving initiative.

Tell us a little about LGI Giving Initiative, and your team’s volunteer experience.

The mission of LGI Giving is to support the community financially and through volunteerism, we want to empower our employees to make an impact. With the Office Manager and office teams participating in this build day, it let them experience the construction side of it to show their dedication to giving back. They really put in the hard physical work on the construction site.

How does Habitat Lake-Sumter’s mission align with LGI Homes mission?

Since LGI started building homes in 2003 our mission has been in alignment with Habitat’s goals of making dreams come true by fulfilling first time homebuyer’s dreams.

What other efforts does LGI make to give back to the community?

LGI Homes hosts a Service Impact Day every June, we close all of the offices nationwide for one day and dedicate it to giving back. Every LGI employee spends the day giving back dollars and hours volunteering in the local community. As a collective effort the sales manager and office manager chose to dedicate this year’s Service Impact Day to Habitat Lake-Sumter, and then the team really came through.

What do you think about the house they are building in the first 55+ age-qualified community?

Building alongside the homeowner showed their team that we are meeting the needs of the people who really deserve it. Plus, it gave that feeling of helping your mom or grandma in a big way.

We were happy to see that the construction manager on site was not cutting any corners, and gave clear instruction to us, so we could see that the quality of work going into the home is significant and that meant a lot to see the care being put into the construction of the home.

John Gammon, LGI Homes Project ManagerLGI Project Manager John Gammon
oversees the sales for Lake and Polk Counties
Congratulations, LGI HOMES for being our July 2023 Sponsor of the Month!

Under Construction: Women Build 2023!

women build prebuild celebration 2023

In March 2023, Habitat Lake-Sumter kicked off their annual Women Build campaign with the goal of building the very first home in our upcoming 55+ community in Tavares,  The Cottages at Heritage Grove.

62 women on 13 teams made extraordinary efforts which resulted in fundraising $79,350!

We celebrated an incredible evening at the Venetian Center in Leesburg on April 27th.  A grand total of 341 donors contributed to this great cause. With the help our Purple Hard Hat Sponsor, Sun Kool Air Conditioning, we had fun celebrating all the Women Build participants and honoring the top fundraising team, Chicks with Sticks, who raised $21,963!

Sun Kool Air Conditioning staff members were on hand at the Pre-Build Celebration, including Sun Kool Executive Vice President & CSO Holly Nicholson Tobin, who shared with the attendees the importance of local businesses stepping up to heed the call for affordable housing for our workforce and families in our community. Sun Kool Air Conditioning also graciously donated the HVAC for the new home.

A special highlight of the evening was the induction of new members into the Sisterhood of the Pink Hard Hats! The ladies welcomed 12 new members to the not-so-secret Sisterhood. Members of the Sisterhood individually raised over $1,500 and were inducted into the notorious hard hat society for surpassing their goals.  Our event was a hit with Our DJ Rocks! DJ Jennie Smith spinning tunes, 360 & Beyond hosting our 360 photo booth, and Ponder’s Catering offering delicious bites. A special thank you to our vendors and supporting players!

Top Fundraising Team:

Chicks with Sticks raised $21,963 to build the home!

Honorable Mentions:

  • The HammerKnockers raised $10,447!
  • Golden Triangle Girls raised $8,071!
  • Chicks with Bricks raised $6,059!


Top Fundraiser:

Lisa Carter Harsh from Chicks with Sticks raised $10,599! A record-setting achievement!

On May 6th, 2023, teams began actively building the home for Habitat homeowner, Beth Dyhr. The home being built is a 2 bedroom/1 bath cottage-style home in The Cottages at Heritage Grove. The new community is a 23-unit pocket-neighborhood specifically designed to meet the needs of Lake County residents on a fixed income, retired, or who are looking to maintain affordable housing as senior citizens.

Teams will continue to volunteer their time at the site until completion of the home, at which time Habitat Lake-Sumter will host a Home Dedication ceremony to dedicate the home and hand over the keys of this home to it’s new owner. 

The opportunity to own an affordable home can remove barriers that might have been part of a family’s life for years, if not generations. Thanks to Women Build, we can offer that opportunity for a family who needs it most.

You can still get involved with Women Build 2023, donate today to help build Beth’s home! 

Almost Home: The Tynes Family

tynes family photos 2022

Sheena Tynes, a soon to be homeowner with Habitat for Humanity of Lake-Sumter, is patiently awaiting the completion of her future home. Sheena’s home is the product of Women Build, an annual event held by Habitat Lake-Sumter each spring, but more importantly, it is her first step into homeownership for her and her children since moving back to the United States ten years ago. Sheena works as an assistant manager at a loan company in Leesburg and she has 3 children: Nicholas, Nathan, and Skye. They are all excited about their new space.  The Tynes Family has lived in Mount Dora for 10 years, and all those years, they have been working toward this moment. As the construction of their home progresses, Sheena admits her children are “excited because they want their own space. They’re ready. That’s something they keep talking about.”

Habitat for Humanity was not always on Sheena’s radar, but after having a previous home fall through, and living in a single-parent program at Mount Dora Christian Home, a social worker relayed Habitat Lake-Sumter’s home ownership program to her. It took a bit to get going, but Sheena prayed about the opportunity and now that she is in the program, she is “excited for the next step.” Sheena dedicates her Saturdays to completing her sweat equity hours and her sons have also volunteered by painting houses at other Habitat project sites. She has never had any experience in the building/construction field, so this experience has allowed her to learn new skills. One thing she has learned in this process…the home is always morphing. Every time she looks at the house “it keeps changing.”

Her 4/2 house is offering something that seems taken for granted often, her own space. She has been shopping for bedroom, living room, and patio furniture. Like many people in Lake County, she is excited to do some front porch sitting. Relaxing mornings on the front porch drinking coffee are in her future. Sheena knows it will be her spot to reminisce about her grandma. This process takes time, hard work, and sweat (in abundance), but when it comes down to it, she “just wants to get in” and have the house to herself for a bit.

From losing a previous house to applying with Habitat, Sheena has trusted God through the process and the waiting. The process has been “pleasant and easy” for all parties involved. We’re so glad to have the opportunity to partner with the Tynes family and provide an end to their time of waiting. Sheena’s future home is already past the plumbing, electrical, and duct work phases, which means the move-in day is near and her front porch days are not far off. Eustis is a new town for her which she hasn’t spent much time, so she is looking forward to exploring downtown and the events it has to offer. One request from Sheena is for her house to be prayed over. Well Sheena, prayer is on the way. Enjoy your new home and your coffee on the porch!

Habitat For Humanity Of Lake-Sumter and AgeWave Solutions, Inc. Join Together To Hand Over Keys To New Homeowner!

Sandra and Walter Young at their home dedication 2022

Habitat for Humanity of Lake-Sumter in partnership with AgeWave Solutions, Inc recently dedicated the first Habitat home of 2022.

AgeWave Solutions, Inc was the presenting sponsor for the Women Build project in May 2021, which aims to build and repair homes, while raising awareness of housing issues facing women, their families, and the community.

Not only does AgeWave’s support make it possible to build the new home, but they are also responsible for the engineering and design of the house. “We work closely with AgeWave Solutions, Inc for the architectural design, drafting and engineering of our house plans,” says Danielle Stroud, CEO of Habitat Lake-Sumter. “This home went from drawing to reality, all while working alongside AgeWave.”

AgeWave Solutions, Inc will be included in the dedication ceremony as we hand over the keys to a Family who were selected through Habitat’s Home Ownership program.

Click here to read the full article by the South Lake Tablet

Lake County family starts off new year with new home

Sandra and Walter Young with Randy from AgeWave Solutions 2022

LAKE COUNTY , Fla. — For one Lake County family, 2022 is already off to a good start as they were given the keys to a new home Monday.

Sandra Young and Walter Young, of Eustis, had been living with their daughter and her family after suffering some hardships last year.

Because of the cramped living conditions, the couple was forced to live out of boxes in one bedroom.

But thanks to Habitat for Humanity of Lake-Sumter, AgeWave Solutions and the Women Build project, the Youngs are now the proud owners of a new home.

The family was selected through the organization’s home ownership program and had to volunteer at least 200 hours to help build the two-bedroom, one-bath home.

“We had to put in 200 hours ourselves, that was required, but of course we weren’t going to do just 200,” Sandra said.

Women Build 2021 Update

Agewave Solutions, Inc. proudly presents Women Build 2021

Women Build is a national initiative to engage and empower women in the effort to provide safe and decent homes for families in need of affordable housing. Locally, YOU have made an impact! Together, we raised $43,853.

Many thanks to AgeWave Solutions, Inc for playing a pivotal role as Women Build’s Presenting Sponsor, thank you to the 11 Women Build teams and to our Hard Hat Sponsor, W.T. Bland Charitable Trust, for also helping us achieve our goal this year.

Take a behind-the-scenes look at the first wall raising and our construction progress so far! Stay tuned for build updates and a future meet & greet with the family we are building for, The Young’s.  

 Thank you to all of the Women Build participants, you’re truly helping us transform lives in our community!





Sponsor of the Month: AgeWave Solutions, Inc

AgeWave Solutions, Inc. proudly presents Women Build 2021

AgeWave Solutions, Inc is the presenting sponsor for Women Build 2021, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Lake-Sumter, Florida. Women Build aims to build and repair homes, while raising awareness of housing issues facing women, their families, and the community.

Every spring, Women Build participants advocate, fundraise, and volunteer to provide access to affordable housing solutions for those who need it. This year, our goal is to raise $35,000 to help build a new home in Eustis, Florida. With three weeks left to fundraise we are more than HALFWAY to our goal, thanks to the generosity of AgeWave Solutions, Inc and the Women Build participates working together to achieve that goal and build a home for a local family! 

AgeWave Solutions, Inc. is an architectural and engineering firm headquartered in The Villages, Florida.  They provide full service building design services in the residential and commercial construction markets.  Specialties include production builder solutions, custom residential design, industrial building design and project coordination, restaurant, retail and multifamily housing design.

Amber Umland, CAD Coordinator with AgeWave Solutions, Inc and awesome Women Builder says, “There is a natural partnership between AgeWave Solutions, Inc. and Habitat for Humanity of Lake-Sumter. We share collective success in translating construction dreams into reality.  AgeWave Solutions, Inc. is honored to be a partner in Woman Build 2021. Our team members are excited and feel very fortunate to lend a helping hand to this important initiative by making one family’s dream come true while promoting the outstanding women in our building community”.

Not only does AgeWave’s support make it possible to build the new home, but they are also responsible for the engineering and design of the house. “We work closely with AgeWave Solutions, Inc for the architectural design, drafting and engineering of our house plans,” says Danielle Stroud, Sr. Director of Programs and Partnerships at Habitat Lake-Sumter. “This home will go from drawing to reality, all while working alongside AgeWave.”

We are so grateful for the partnership with AgeWave Solutions, Inc and the community collaboration! Together, we will build homes, communities, and hope!  

Women Build 2021 elevation

You can support our mission and help build this home by donating to Women Build 2021!

To learn more about Women Build and ways to positively impact your community, contact Lacie at Lacie@HabitatLS.org or (352) 483-0434 x 146

Women Build is an inclusive event, and everyone is invited to build lasting change.


Women Build 2020: Preservation & Repair

 I’ve been involved with several Habitat projects, but it was this one that touched me so deeply. It was all because of The Dragon Sister’s, Kevin, Habitat staff and sponsors. But most importantly, because of Miss Dorothy, for sharing this experience with us- Kim Thayer, Dragon Sisters

At the core of Women Build is a group of people who are willing to advocate for attainable housing, garner support from their sphere of influence, and take action to create change in their community.

This year, Women Build came to an unexpected halt. Typically, Women Build begins in March and participants raise funds for 6 weeks, followed by the volunteer and build phase in May. But when the coronavirus halted everything, it seemed like Women Build would be indefinitely delayed.

But then something incredible happened. Women Builder’s started to reach out.

They asked questions like: What can I do? How can I help someone during this time? Is there a family who needs a little extra support right now?

So we told them. Habitat Lake-Sumter shared the stories of families who needed help before Covid-19 and who would still need our help as we began to recover. Families who were struggling and vulnerable in their housing situations and who, without our help, would only feel the exacerbated effects of sheltering in unsafe housing conditions.

Leesburg Evening Rotary, BSmart Masonry, The Dragon Boat Sisters, and Zonta International adopted 2 projects, raising the funds needed and offering their volunteer time to make it happen. After all of the changes to Women Build and with safety precautions in place, we were finally able to see the Women Build projects come to fruition.

In July, two Women Build Preservation & Repair projects were completed thanks to some incredible individuals, businesses, and civic organizations who took action to strengthen and unite our community.

The project took on more than originally scoped – the Dragon Sisters did some major landscaping, as opposed to just “trim back the bushes so the house could be painted” approach.  Also, the house would not stand up to power washing before painting, so the Sisters washed the entire house by hand so that it could be painted.  Without the Dragon Sisters, there’s no way this house would have been done by Friday.  As a club they also supplied plants, mulch, landscape fabric, and a garden flag and the pictures don’t do it justice, but the landscaping alone was a difference-maker- Kevin, Habitat Site Leader

Women Build may look decidedly different this year but the one thing that remained steadfast were the people willing to take on key leadership roles and direct action in helping families in Lake & Sumter County.

First of all we have a group of THE MOST generous, caring, funny and loving women I have EVER BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH.  And most everyone else will say the same thing. Each day when we arrived we all knew what had to be done and we just went right to work, no direction needed. At the end of each day whether it was a sisters first day or not, each went home feeling good knowing we were helping make a difference in a sweet woman’s day.

Ms. Dorothy fed us and praised us and she even prayed that God would put us to use to help someone else in need. I asked her if she could ask him to use us in cooler days since the heat index was not under 106° the entire week. She laughed!  But not one sister complained about the work that was needed. On our last day Ms. Dorothy came out to see her freshly painted, repaired home and freshly landscaped and cleaned flower beds and shrubs. She had a poem she “gave” us and it is this :

A bells not a bell till its rung

A songs not a song till it’s sung

But love wasn’t put in our hearts to stay

Loves not love till you give it away !

We ALL gave love away that week and we ALL are better for it. Thanks for the opportunity. Hugs!  -Vicki McMillan, Dragon Sisters  


Project #1: Caitlyn and her 3 young sons have lived in their home for 8 years. Caitlyn was approved for a matching grant through USDA and Habitat. Leesburg Evening Rotary and BSmart Masonry sponsored the project to match funds for windows and roof to be replaced, and provided the family with a gate (for an added feeling of security for Caitlyn and her boys). As a final touch, both Leesburg Evening and Sunrise Rotarians volunteered to paint, giving her home a fresh feel to go along with the new windows and doors.

Project #2: Ms. Dorothy is 87 years old and lives on her own in Wildwood. She is a widow of an Army Veteran. She has lived in her current residence for 61 years and was facing loss of insurance unless she could get the roof repaired. The Dragon Boat Sisters and Zonta assisted in raising funds to repair her roof, fix her a/c, paint and build her a new accessibility ramp.











Women Build 2020: Be a Fundraiser Participant

Need help or some inspiration for you Women Build Fundraiser?

Set up your fundraising consultation with our experts today!

Lacie Himes


(352) 483-0434 x146

Danielle Stroud


(352) 483-0434 x133

Pink Champagne Virtual Party!

Women Build 2020 Virtual Party

Did you miss the Pink Champagne VIRTUAL Party? Don’t worry you can still watch all the videos below!

Pink Champagne VIRTUAL Party: Part 1
Pink Champagne VIRTUAL Party: Part 2
Pink Champagne VIRTUAL Party: Part 3


We want to see your Cheers photos and videos! Post them on our Facebook Page!

Register for Women Build and download your online fundraising packet!

*The Women Build projects will begin in May and August

The impact of these uncertain times is felt by everyone. Cancelled events, businesses closing, lost wages from shortened hours at work, and increased cost of childcare as schools close.

And one of the primary safety recommendations? Stay home.

Can you imagine not having a stable place to call home, the potential that one missed paycheck holds the possibility of losing your home? Lack of stability in a home makes something like an unexpected crisis difficult to prepare for.

In this unprecedented time, we have the opportunity to make a huge difference in our community. We invite you to rally with Habitat Lake-Sumter and give a local family a hand-up for a stronger, more stable future. You can raise funds and raise awareness by registering for Women Build and sharing your fundraising page to friends and family, and finally, raise the walls  and repair homes in Lake & Sumter Counties!