Director recognizes Habitat volunteers at annual kickoff

Another year of work from the Greater Lycoming chapter of Habitat for Humanity kicked off on Wednesday evening.

The reception at Eagle Rock Winery, 414 W. Fourth St., marked the beginning of the fundraiser season for the home-building nonprofit organization and served as a moment to recognize people who have done good work for them in the recent past.

“Since I’ve been in Williamsport, I’ve seen amazing support from the community,” said Tina McDowell, executive director. “It has been really refreshing. Coming in new to this affiliate in this role, I think the support that is given to Habitat here and the potential for growth is so refreshing and so exciting.”

McDowell, who has been in her position almost six months, presented an award for “community partnership” to Kirk Fisher, of Lowes Home Improvement, in Montoursville, for his company’s work with Habitat, particularly in adding on to a project on Linn Street.

Habitat board member Andy Hooker, of Pennram Diversified Manufacturing Corp., was presented with the “community advocate” award.

“Andy has been a huge help on the construction committee,” McDowell said. “He brought resources to the table that are making things really great for us. The more we’re able to keep our costs down and keep our eye on the bottom line, the better we’re able to use our resources, the more we can do in our community.”

Finally, McDowell recognized board President Earl Kinter, who will be leaving his position in December.

“Thank you for going above and beyond and getting Habitat through some transitions,” McDowell told Kinter. “He’s given a lot of time to Habitat, and I really think his passion for what we do has enabled us to come through some tough times, and I want to say we’re on the road to bigger and better things.”

McDowell told the crowd that they should expect to see her and her staff in “inboxes and mailboxes” soon, as the organization raises funds to build more affordable housing in Lycoming County and supports new programs, such as “Brush with Kindness,” which will help homeowners do exterior work on their property.

“Most of you know our mission is to eliminate poverty housing and to work to create opportunities for decent, affordable housing in our community,” McDowell said. “If you live here, you know that’s been an issue and it will continue to be for now and the foreseeable future.”

Ground will be broken on the next Habitat house, at 709 Diamond St., in Williamsport, at noon on Oct. 17.