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Habitat Ball on Feb. 18

By ZOË WATKINS - zwatkins@t-g.com
Posted 2/11/23

The 25th annual Bedford Builds Habitat for Humanity Ball will take place on Saturday, Feb. 18, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Bell Buckle Banquet Hall.  

This is the nonprofit’s …

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Habitat Ball on Feb. 18


The 25th annual Bedford Builds Habitat for Humanity Ball will take place on Saturday, Feb. 18, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Bell Buckle Banquet Hall.  

This is the nonprofit’s largest fundraiser of the year. All proceeds will go towards building a new home for a Bedford County resident in need. 

Tickets are $125 per person. To purchase, call 931-684-4300. Last calls for tickets will be soon on Feb. 13.  

What to expect 

There’s a lot to look forward to for this year’s ball, according to Executive Director Pam Birtcil. For one, there will be several exciting auction items available, such as a signed guitar from Dolly Parton and one from Hunter Girl, which will be in the live auction. They will also be providing a nice piece of jewelry from Heritage Jewelers.  

Other items include a flight on the DC3, a grill from Badcock Furniture, night stays at a Bell Buckle bed and breakfast, and a vase made by Scott Wieland. Birtcil said she is also excited for the auction to include wire art from Rod Clevland, who is the grandson of Vannoy Streeter, a renowned wire artist.  

In addition to enjoying food from the Bell Buckle Café, guests can also dance to music from the band The Nashville Alternators.  

The guest speaker will be Kristin Tomlin, who is a recent recipient of a home built by Habitat.  

“I think that’s what I look forward to the most is getting to see them. It’s almost like a Cinderella moment for them,” said Birtcil.  

Projects today 

Bedford Builds is finishing a home on Oak Street, and the dedication will be in March. They’re hoping to start another home project in late spring, according to Birtcil.  

“Everybody needs housing. It's a fundamental thing for all humans,” said Birtcil. Those who fill out an application and get accepted into the program for two years have to put in their “sweat equity.” They do 12 educational classes and 350 hours of sweat equity, like on the house or in the store.  

Though those in the program have to work for their home, they, of course, get the benefit of not paying interest.  

Birtcil herself started with Habitat in 2006. Familiar with fundraising from serving with youth ministries at her church, Birtcil took the job.  

Over those years, her job has changed a lot as Habitat for Humanity has learned to be more “fluid,” especially after the pandemic and as grants become harder to get.  

And, of course, building materials continue to rise. For example, Birtcil said a two-bedroom, one-bath house today costs more than what a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house cost three years ago. 

Though there are challenges, Bedford Builds has managed to build 58 houses in Bedford.  

The Habitat store has also been a “blessing,” according to Birtcil, as it has helped tremendously in funding the house projects.  

For those who can’t make it to the Ball to help, volunteers are always needed at the worksites and at the store. And donations can be made online or directly to the Bedford Builds Habitat office. 

“The biggest difference we make is in the children,” said Birtcil. A stable home goes a long way in helping kids graduate and move on in life. It’s what keeps Birtcil motivated. 

“We are in dire need of affordable housing in Bedford County,” she said. “We are a hand-up for that. We are a hand-up, not a hand-out.