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Dexter United Methodist Church Hosts Habitat for Humanity Fundraiser

Proceeds from the Italian buffet-style dinner will benefit local residents in Washtenaw County.

Dexter United Methodist Church will host its annual Italian dinner and silent auction to benefit Habitat for Humanity on Feb. 25.

The silent auction will take place from 3-7 p.m., and a buffet dinner with a special children’s auction will take place from 4:30-7 p.m. Dinner tickets are  available at the door and cost $9 for adults, $8 for seniors, $5 for children 5-12, and free for children 4 and under.

The event has raised more than $78,000 for Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley. Through the fundraiser and other donations, DUMC members have provided affordable homeownership opportunities for more than a dozen families in Washtenaw County. Proceeds support new construction and renovation projects through the Good News House Coalition, a collection of 20 church congregations, including Baptists, Congregationalists, Methodists, Unitarian Universalists and other denominations.

“The Good News House leaders and volunteers inspire me,” Sarah Stanton, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley said. “They are dedicated to getting more low-income families into their own homes. The coalition embraces growth and change and serves as a model of successful partnership.”

Prior to hosting the annual dinner, DUMC held a special collection on Mother’s Day to raise money for Habitat, according to Dan Teare of Chelsea, a former Good News House leader.

“The first dinner organized by former Dexter resident Peg Davis and Sharon Wheeler was an instant hit," Teare said. "People like to support Habitat, and they get a great, home-cooked dinner for a reasonable price."

For Dexter’s Vickie Kudla-Hatch and Charley Hatch, who do most of the cooking, the dinner is a family affair. Their sons Alex, Andrew and Cole Hatch pitched in for many years and still help out periodically. George and Ruth Kudla of Brighton regularly assist their daughter and son-in-law, chopping and cooking at the dinner. Working together, the family prepares from scratch the core of the buffet — tossed salad, chicken cacciatore, lasagna, pastas, marinara and Alfredo sauces and dessert.

Together, the Hatch family, Sharon Wheeler of Pinckney and 50 volunteers serve several hundred people each year.

“The Dexter community really comes together to support Habitat for Humanity,” Kudla-Hatch said. “Classic Pizza in Dexter and Busch’s help us with good prices on pizza, bread sticks and meat.”

Judy Murray of Dexter organizes the auction, which has grown from six items the first year to more than 140 in 2011. Among the most popular are sports items, gift certificates, lessons, cottage rentals, hand-crafted wood items, and hand-knit baby blanket and sweater sets.

“Jim Reisinger does a great job soliciting auction items from area merchants, who are extremely generous,” Murray said. “I’m not good at hammering and nailing, but the auction is something I can do. Our church likes to help; I like to help Habitat too.”

For more information, call 734-426-8480.

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