PARKERSBURG - A family's dream came true Sunday as Wood County Habitat For Humanity dedicated its 64th house in honor of the family member who did not live to see the dream's culmination.
A number of Habitat officials, volunteers, family and friends came Sunday to 1333 Ridgeway Ave. in south Parkersburg to dedicate the home of Crystal Nottingham and her son, Sam.
The ground was broken on the project in early November. In January, more than a dozen individuals working as apprentices with a local roofers union did roofing on the project. The project was recently completed.
Photo by Brett Dunlap
Alvin Phillips, the executive director for Wood County Habitat For Humanity, makes a presentation to Crystal Nottingham at the dedication of her new home Sunday. The home, at 1333 Ridgeway Ave. in Parkersburg, was the 64th home completed by Habitat in Wood County.
Presentations were made to the Nottinghams including the home's keys, a Bible, a basket of books for Sam, a quilt with a Superman motif and more during Sunday's dedication.
"I just wanted to thank everyone," Crystal Nottingham said. "Each and every individual in this room is the reason we are here today.
"It just isn't me and Sam, we wouldn't be here if it wasn't for all of your help. It has been wonderful. I am very grateful for each and every one of you."
Habitat uses volunteer labor, donations and donated materials and land to keep homes affordable for those who wouldn't otherwise be able to own their own homes through conventional means. Habitat homebuyers are required to attend homebuyer education classes and complete "sweat equity" hours in working on a number of local Habitat projects as well as their own. The homeowners pay a zero-percent interest mortgage to buy the house from Habitat.
Many volunteers help out with each project with many who are regular staples at each build, said Alvin Phillips, the executive director for Wood County Habitat For Humanity.
"We have an incredible group of volunteers that we work with," Phillips said. "Many of our volunteers are here continuously."
Habitat is celebrating its 25th anniversary in West Virginia this year with a number of special house buildings, said Lora Pierce, executive director of Habitat For Humanity of West Virginia.
The Nottingham house is the second home completed during the anniversary which will run through June 2013.
"Every house is special," Pierce said.
In addition to the Nottinghams, those assembled participated in a blessing ceremony for a family and a house being built by Habitat next door, Wood County Habitat's 65th house.
Phillips expects that house to be completed by early summer.
Another house is slated to start construction at the beginning of April in the Lubeck area with another expected to start in June at 13th and Dillaway streets in Parkersburg.
"We are moving right along," Phillips said.
Wood County Habitat built four houses in 2012 for 19 people, with the help of approximately 85 volunteers and 2,500 hours per house.
The Nottingham family honored their departed member, Sam Adam Nottingham, Crystal's husband and Sam Ryan Nottingham's father.
The younger Sam and other children let a number of balloons go into the sky in his father's memory.
"Sam wanted to release these balloons so his dad would know where we live now," Crystal Nottingham said. "We do it for every special occasion.
"It is our way of including him. This was his dream for his family so it is a happy occasion. It is another reason to celebrate," she said.