Members of The Villages Habitat for Humanity Club surround Joyce Tohill before she is given the keys to her new home in Fruitland Park. Tohill and her family will move in next month.
Photos by Rachel Stuart, Daily Sun
When Joyce Tohill found out she was getting a home built, she never anticipated it would be the home of her dreams. The Tavares resident had dreamed of having a home she could leave to her children if something ever happened to her. “We are so excited to move in and have celebrations in our home,” she said. “I never thought I would ever be able to have a home of my own.” On Tuesday, members of The Villages Habitat for Humanity Club, Tohill’s family, staff from Habitat for Humanity of Lake-Sumter and various friends and guests gathered at the build site in Fruitland Park for the dedication ceremony. While the family cannot officially move in until papers are signed in June, The Villages club finished early and was eager to hand the keys over to the family.
“Throughout the entire build, we have really gotten to know Joyce and her family,” said Sally Read, co-president of the club. “They have become good friends and we wanted to make things special for them.”
Preparing for the ceremony
Before the ceremony began, staff from Habitat for Humanity of Lake-Sumter set chairs out on the lawn and laid out snacks on a table.
Carlos Beron, volunteer service manager for the nonprofit, set up a speaker and made sure batteries were placed in the microphone.
“We have been waiting for this ceremony for awhile,” he said. “They are a great family to work with.”
Lacie Himes, development director for the nonprofit, began settiing out oranges, muffins and bananas for those in attendance.
“We are so excited for this family,” she said with a smile as she started distributing orange juice and coffee.
As guests began to arrive, staff members told them they could take a peek inside the house if they wanted.
“The club did a really great job with this house,” said Shari McCray, marketing and communications coordinator for Habitat for Humanity. “They personalized this house just for this family and they finished in record time. You can see the love they had for this family in each room in the house and they have additional surprises coming.”