After a popular and successful annual celebration in 2018, when the Home Builders Foundation raised nearly $200,000 in one night, HBF invited recipients, supporters and sponsors to a new event modeled after last year’s fundraiser.
“What we thought was going to be a one-off event, it was just too fun not to do it again,” Beth Forbes, executive director of HBF, said at the event on Thursday.
HBF estimates that net revenue from the event will exceed $200,000, Forbes told Colorado Builder on Monday. She noted at the event that due to support from the organization’s sponsors, 100% of the money raised on Thursday will go to HBF’s programming.
HBF recipient Allyson Mallory hosted the event. Mallory is a principal at Ralph Moody Elementary School. She uses a wheelchair after a snowboarding accident and still skis with a monoski.
“Through the Home Builders Foundation,” she said, “the most prized procession I have received is my independence … in my home.”
Bill Wood, HBF board president, shared some of the successes the organization has worked for in the last 12 months.
HBF welcomed nine new board members in 2019, Wood said, adding, “We’re looking forward to the fresh ideas that they have to bring.”
For example, a new training program will help project captains manage volunteers, he said, while a new community partner outreach program of over 20 hospitals, and disease and care organizations.
“This program helps our recipients benefit from the ripple effect created by HBF working together with these other organizations to serve their needs,” Wood said.
Wood said the organization has introduced more diversified funding sources for its programs, including community partners and grant organizations.
In-kind donations of materials and labor resulted in contributions of close to $850,000 last year, according to Wood, allowing HBF to complete 197 projects for 120 recipients
“As you may know, many of our recipients need more than one home modification to secure their independence, including ramps, bathroom remodels, stair lifts, room additions and door widenings,” he explained.
Wood said recipients’ projects cost an average $7,000, which they receive at no cost to them.
He added that the organization is on track to provide 150 recipients with work “that will likely have a value of over $1 million.”
“We all know that life is uncertain,” Wood said. “Just ask our recipients and their families. But our recipients also teach us to reset, adjust and move forward.”
Colorado native and six-time Olympic gold medal swimmer Amy Van Dyken shared her story at HBF’s event on Thursday. She started swimming to help manage asthma.
Van Dyken was injured in an ATV accident in 2014 and now uses a wheelchair. She competes in wheelWOD, Crossfit games for adaptive athletes.
After a long career as a competitive swimmer, van Dyken was confident she could meet the challenges of adjusting to her new abilities, but “the one thing that worried me was my house. I love to cook … and how am I going to do all the things that I need to do?”
Van Dyken’s house was modified to make her kitchen and bathroom more accessible, including cabinets that could be raised or lowered by a button and a spa-like roll-in shower that she likes to call “the car wash.”
“There were people—kind-hearted, amazing humans, just like yourselves—who went into that house, did not ask for anything, didn’t even ask for a thank you, who redid my house,” she said.
“What you guys do gives us our independence back, but it also gives us the fact that we are human beings back, because sometimes it doesn’t fell that way when you first get out.”