"A world where everyone has a decent place to live..."

July 2014
Habitat Updates
A Bobcat named Otto

Proceeds from a generous Bremer Bank grant allowed St. Croix Valley Habitat for Humanity to purchase a much needed skid steer. This magnificent piece of engineering from the Bobcat company, pictured below, has been affectionately named "Otto" after the founder of Bremer Bank, Otto Bremer. Otto has already proven to be an indispensable member of the SCV Habitat team, and will certainly continue to earn its salt (or diesel, as the case may be) in the years ahead. I would like to extend a colossal thank you to Bremer Bank for our newest mechanical comrade, Otto the Bobcat.

A Message from the Editor
Greetings and best wishes to you all from your new editor. It is my eternal pleasure to take up such a rewarding and honorable position. I would like to extend my congratulations to my predecessor, Tamra Knight, for her exemplary work with the newsletter this past year. I sincerely hope I can measure up to her standard of excellence and professionalism. Truly I feel as though I am standing on the shoulders of giants here at St. Croix Valley Habitat for Humanity. Thank you for reading, I look forward to the months ahead. 

Per ardua ad astra.
-John Thompson   
Schwan's Fundraiser
Help us build homes through Schwan's! For every purchase, Schwan's will donate 20% in support of our campaign. 
Click here for more information 

Board of Directors

Dave Meier



Carol Merriman
Vice President 

Don Richards

Bill Stokes

Joan Bartz

Sarah Bruch

Kelly Cain

Rollie Johnson

Peter Kilde

Heather Logelin

Roger Pavlis 

Joel Skinner


Dennis Schmidt:
Project Specialist
Joel Palmquist:
Construction Manager
Debbie Murtha:
Office Manager
Amy Henry:
Office Assistant
Andy Scheiderer:
ReStore Manager - New Richmond
Vincent Solorio:
Donation Supervisor 
Jason Dale:
Pick-Up Coordinator
Brenda Berner:
ReStore Office Assistant

Sarah Rose:
ReStore Manager -River Falls
John Thompson:
AmeriCorps VISTA/
E-Newsletter Editor

Paul Capparelli:
Summer Construction VISTA

River Falls ReStore: the Trials and Triumphs of a Community working Together
I believe that it would not be a falsehood or hyperbole to say that St Croix Valley Habitat for Humanity is perhaps the most ambitious Habitat affiliate around. When it was announced that SCV Habitat would be opening a River Falls ReStore location with an opening date in early July, ambitious was certainly an apt label. But how pleased we all are to announce the unveiling of the River Falls Restore just in time for River Falls Days. Friday, July 11 was the official opening of our newest ambition, and what an ambition it has been! Turning an old auto parts store into a brand new second hand appliance, hardware, and furniture store has taken an abundance of dedication and hard work from a number of wonderful human beings. 
Chief among them is Sarah Rose, the new manager of our River Falls Restore. From the moment she was hired, Sarah has proven herself to be wholly and steadfastly dedicated to the cause. Whether it has meant taking trips to the New Richmond Restore, fastidiously organizing our new location, or spending hours on her hands and knees chipping old linoleum off of the floor, Sarah has risen above and beyond the call of duty. 
Also deserving of acclamation is Ben Spafford and the crew at St. Croix County Workforce Resources. The labor provided by these industrious young people was quite literally indispensable. Without their strong backs and linoleum chipping prowess I seriously doubt the store could have been open in time for River Falls Days. Great work comrades!
Praise must also be meted out to our magnificent contractors. Ross and Associates installed a terrific loading door, side door, and some truly resplendent stone siding. Ross was also responsible for hanging our fetching new sign proudly atop our storefront, where it will be perched for years to come, regally overseeing the cavalcade of enthusiastic shoppers going hither and tither about the store.
A special thank you to Thomas Beauchman of Two Bears Painting for venturing out on a Sunday to do an absolutely splendid paint job - thank you, Mr. Beauchman, for your dedication to the cause, and for your superlative painting prowess.
Our landlord, Steve Trebus, has been absolutely steadfast in his support of our endeavor, and has aided us substantially at every step in this process.
An undertaking such as this relies on the hard work and dedication of numerous individuals, far more than this humble editor has firsthand knowledge of. So to everyone in the St. Croix Valley community who has had a hand in making this moment possible, I would like to extend a mighty thank you. Together we have created something truly spectacular. 
We hope to see you soon at 109 W Cedar Street. We already have a veritable menagerie of fantastic donations to peruse, and our inventory grows by the day. And of course, all proceeds from these items - ripped from the cold, uncaring jaws of the landfill to live another day - go towards improving the housing conditions of the St. Croix Valley. That is the truly joyous fact: everyone benefits from a ReStore. 
Staff of the Month: Sarah Rose
St. Croix Valley Habitat for Humanity is proud to welcome a new member to our illustrious staff. Sarah Rose was hired in late June to run the River Falls ReStore, and she has been working feverishly ever since to prepare the store for its grand opening. A woman with an indomitable spirit and a rapier wit, Sarah has already proven herself to be an absolute boon to the organization and an absolute joy to work with. Although beset by challenges at all turns, Sarah remains resolute and steadfast in her ambition to run a robust and profitable ReStore. A modest and humble woman, Sarah was quite grateful for the support and assistance she has received from the St. Croix Valley community, but much like Alexander the Great, Sarah will not be content ruling over her domain in a workmanlike fashion. Indeed, Sarah has grand designs and aspirations for the ReStore. She has plans to actively re-purpose and up-cycle items that might otherwise depart to their final resting place in a landfill, create a children's program to help get youth involved with their community and natural surroundings, and perhaps above all, be an active, positive member of the River Falls community. Welcome aboard Sarah Rose, your grit and ingenuity will certainly prove to be indispensable.     
Volunteer of the Month: Joe Greateus 
Sitting across the porch from me, the stoic Joe Greateus perfectly encapsulates the phrase "salt of the earth." An indefatigable and industrious man, Joe has spent his entire adult life in the construction industry. He struck out on his own in 1987, creating Insulated Brick Systems, a company specializing in thin brick veneer installation. As part of the SCV Habitat regular work crew, Joe is no stranger to toiling week in and week out, a part of the invaluable collection of builders that labor tirelessly under what Joe admits can be stressful and frustrating conditions. As a member of those elite, dignified heroes - without whom there would be no Eco Village - Joe keeps coming back because of the satisfaction he gets from working for a cause he believes fervently in and the comradery he feels working with people he respects and enjoys the company of. As he rhapsodized about his past work experience and his tenure with SCV Habitat, it became abundantly clear that Joe is a highly steadfast and opinionated man, and it was an honor and a pleasure to work with and interview him. Thank you, Joe Greateus, for your unwavering efforts.    
Joe and Otto
Andersen Blitz Build Week
When Andersen Windows descends upon the Eco Village each summer with ranks that would make Caesar himself green with envy, everyone at SCV Habitat knows something special is about to occur. Your humble editor was fortunate enough to be present at the Andersen build for two consecutive years now, and let me say that it is indeed a sight to behold. Legions of orange-cloaked builders efficiently buzzing about the job site like bees in a hive, leaving astounding progress in their wake. Andersen is and always has been an indispensable partner of SCV Habitat. Thank you, Andersen Windows, for all that you do for us.
The list of SCV Habitat allies is both long and distinguished, and we were fortunate enough to have another staunch Habitat supporter sojourn to the Eco Village that glorious week. A contingent of volunteers from Extreme Panel Technologies also labored side by side with the Andersen crew, pushing us to even greater heights. Well done and thank you, Extreme Panels. 
No strangers to demanding, draining work, the faculty and staff of the River Falls School District put in the same unwavering, ironclad dedication into building the Eco Village that they do every single year educating America's future generations. Thank you for your dedication to SCV Habitat and to the children of River Falls.   
A bright young man of 18 named Paul Capparelli started work during the Andersen Blitz week. Paul, pictured below, has since continued to infuse the SCV Habitat work site and office with the vigor and moxie that only a teen with his entire life ahead of him can produce. Keep up the good work, Paul.  

Your humble editor was only present on the job site for days one and two of the Andersen Blitz week, but by all accounts St. Bridget's Church, 1st Congregational Church, King of Kings, and of course our phenomenal regular work crews did an exemplary job that halcyon week in June. To everyone who volunteered, thank you so very much. The amount of work that was done during the Andersen Blitz week was truly astounding.
Andersen Windows, putting up Structural Insulated Panels
Paul Capparelli, putting in work.
Thrivent Choice
Thrivent Financial for Lutherans has proven time and again to be one of Habitat for Humanity's staunchest allies. Thrivent has sponsored three houses in the Eco Village and has been a consistent source of volunteer labor since the fledgling stages of our honorable undertaking. Now Thrivent is offering an innovative program that affords its members the opportunity to help direct the generous charitable works of said organization. With the Thrivent Choice program members are able to vote for where Thrivent should direct its charitable donations from a pool of thousands of nonprofit organizations. We here at St. Croix Valley Habitat for Humanity would humbly request for any Thrivent Financial members to keep our organization in mind when choosing from the many worthwhile nonprofits to vote for. SCV Habitat is at the vanguard of providing low income residents the opportunity to own homes that are not only safe and affordable, but also ecologically responsible. Our cause is virtuous, and our impact on the St. Croix Valley is immense. Thank you.  

St. Croix Valley Habitat for Humanity
116 E. Elm Street
River Falls, WI 54022