'Raise the Roof' raises funds for Habitat for Humanity 

The Episcopal Church of the Incarnation hosted the West Point Rotary Club's "Raise the Roof" Wine and Cheese Fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity Tuesday night. Everyone enjoyed wine, food and fellowship while assisting Habitat for Humanity.
Staff Writer

The West Point Rotary Club and the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation sponsored a "Raise the Roof" for Habitat for Humanity, Wine and Cheese fundraiser Tuesday night at the church fellowship hall. Participants enjoyed sampling red and white wines along with finger foods.

"There are so many groups who made this fundraiser a success," said Dawn Wilbourne of Habitat for Humanity. "Everyone in the Rotary Club worked hard selling tickets, members of the Episcopal Church donated and cooked the food, William's Package Store donated the wines. It was a wonderful fundraiser with the help of all these people." 

Wilbourne said Pearlie Westbrooks, for whom the Habitat Home will be built, was overwhelmed by all the people who came to the fundraiser. 

"Robert Totten provided the music by playing the piano," Wilbourne said. "He is a jazz trained pianist and is the organist at the Episcopal Church."

Wilbourne said she was pleased that Totten donated his time and talent to the fundraiser.

"We at Habitat for Humanity are so grateful to the Rotary members and members of the community who continue to support Habitat and its mission to provide safe and affordable housing," Wilbourne said. 

Wilbourne said they don't have a total for how much was raised Tuesday night, but would release the amount when it was all collected. 

"We don't have a start date for the house as of yet," Wilbourne said. "But we will be demolishing the standing structure and then pouring the foundation. After that, it should not take long for Westbrooks' home to be ready to move into."

Wilbourne said it will be a one bathroom with two bedrooms home upon completion.

Episcopal priest Lynn Ronaldi said the church has helped with Habitat for Humanity in building homes before.

"We at the Episcopal Church deeply feel that we need to help people find a home when they don't have one that is adequate." Ronaldi said. "We seek to serve the Christ that we see in others."
Ronaldi said the job of Christians is to help those who are in need.

"We see the face of the suffering Christ in those we help," Ronaldi said. "And we see the face of the joyful Christ  when we are able to meet that need. It reminds us that we are in need of Christ as our salvation."

Ronaldi said the members of the church are touched by those they reach out in service to help. She said the blessings they receive by meeting the needs of others is far beyond what they give.

"Whether is is with Habitat for Humanity or the Christ at Home Meal Ministry, we learn humility in serving," Ronaldi said. "It changes us and we became grateful for what we have. We learn our petty troubles are nothing."