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

April, 2015
Habitat News Tribune
A Message from the Editor
Greetings and best wishes to you all from your humble editor. Spring has truly made itself manifest this month, which is cause for celebration indeed in this neck of the woods. In fact, April has been a month of celebrations for SCV-Habitat; we held celebrations for three of our homeowner-partners, and our New Richmond ReStore turned five this month, with a full-fledged week-long celebration to mark the occasion set for May 19-23. Please do read on to find out more...  

Per ardua ad astra.
-John Thompson   
A Brush With Kindness Set to Kick Off
May is almost upon us, and with it the second season of A Brush With Kindness. We need your help to make our second season even more of a resounding success than our first.  If you or someone you know in Pierce or St. Croix County will be facing a daunting home repair, home maintenance, or landscaping project in the spring please contact Dennis Schmidt for more information or call our office at 715-425-5623.  
New Richmond Spring Donation Drive
Our redoubtable New Richmond ReStore wants your help! With spring just around the corner the time is now for a donation drive. If you have quality new or gently used building materials, furniture, or working appliance please do consider bringing them to the ReStore as a tax deductible donation, or if your donations are too bulky to bring in yourself please call our Donation Pickup Hotline to schedule a pickup. Our ReStores thrive on new inventory, so get a jump start on your spring cleaning and donate today!

901B N. Knowles Ave. 
New Richmond, WI 54017 
Manager Andy Scheiderer's phone: 715-246-4441
Donation Pickup Hotline: 715-690-4984
Join our FAM Club!
The Fifteen Dollars a Month club is a hassle free and secure way to help fight poverty housing in the St. Croix Valley. Each month, for less than a couple meals at a restaurant, you can help provide a home for a local family in need. With the FAM club, every month 15 dollars (or more, if you choose) will be securely transferred from your bank account to ours to help us cover the cost we incur on our noble mission. To sign up for the FAM club please email our Development Director Susan Capparelli, or contact the office at 715-425-5623 and ask for Susan. We at St. Croix Valley Habitat for Humanity would like to extend a very heartfelt and humble thank you to all of our donors for your beneficence, it is through your contributions that we may continue our righteous work.
Donate a Vehicle to SCV-Habitat and Help us Build Houses

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

Kelly Cain



Sarah Bruch
Vice President 

Don Richards

Bill Stokes

Carol Merriman

Peter Kilde

Heather Logelin

Roger Pavlis 

Joel Skinner

Joe Greatens

Maureen Otwell

Bill Richard

Dennis Schmidt:
Project Specialist
A Brush With Kindness
Joel Palmquist:
Construction Manager
Debbie Murtha:
Office Manager
Amy Henry:
Office Assistant
Andy Scheiderer:
ReStore Manager - New Richmond
Chris Otten:
Donation Supervisor - New Richmond


Jason Dale:
Donation Procurement 


Brenda Berner:
ReStore Assistant Manager - New Richmond

Sarah Rose:
ReStore Manager -River Falls


John Thompson:
AmeriCorps VISTA/
E-Newsletter Editor
Home Dedication Ceremonies

For those of us affiliated with SCV-Habitat there are many mirthful and moving days of the year, but few rival the emotion and majesty of the homeowner-partner ceremony. There are two ceremonies that mark important events in the lives of homeowner-partners, one that marks the beginning of their wondrous journey, and one that celebrates the fruition of it. SCV-Habitat was blessed to have three such ceremonies at our Eco Village this month.  

Charity Purfeest's Golden Nail Ceremony   

Often the celebration at the beginning of the journey is a groundbreaking ceremony, but what to do when the SIP panels have already been raised and the interior framing has been skillfully completed? The answer is the much venerated golden nail ceremony. Friends, family, volunteers, homeowner-partners, staff, and Board members gathered around Charity's future domicile to witness Charity and her two sons pound their ceremonial golden nails into their future dwelling. The ceremony began with words from SCV-Habitat Executive Director Dave Engstrom and Thrivent Financial representative Jesse Kvitek. The assembled crowd then roared with approval as Charity, Drew and Rowan were handed the ceremonial golden nails and golden hammer. Each stepped up to perform his or her ceremonial labor with the adroit intensity of John Henry himself. But the festivities were just beginning...

Kim Krupka and Kristen Ward's Home Dedication Ceremonies 

After that last golden nail had been dexterously driven home it was off to the two home dedication ceremonies. The first was Kim Krupka's. Dave Engstrom and SCV-Habitat Office Manager Debbie Murtha both spoke and led everyone in the home consecration prayer. Kim was also presented with a donation of quilts from Sue Meyer on behalf of the women of St. Bridget's Catholic Church, and the "welcome wagon" of assorted household supplies donated by Westside Elementary School.

After Kim's moving words of thanks it was on to Kristen's home to repeat the joyous process. Kristen's home still has some interior work to be completed before it can be inhabited, but it won't be too long until Kristen is living her solar powered life in the Eco Village. Kim likewise accepted the quilts and welcome wagon, and again Dave and Debbie spoke and led the consecration. Kristen closed the ceremony with her own moving words of thanks, and with that two more homeowner-partners had been symbolically welcomed into the joyous family of Eco Village homeowner-partners.

Gratitude for these jocund events must be paid to Thrivent Financial, St. Bridget's Catholic Church, Westside Elementary School, SCV-Habitat staff and Board, Charity, Kim, and Kristen and all of their friends family, and neighbors. And of course, I would be remiss if I did not thank our remarkable volunteers and partners - without them we truly could not have made it this far.
Thrivent Financial Representative Jesse Kvitek (far left) and SCV-Habitat Executive Director Dave Engstrom (second from left) offering words of wisdom at the golden nail ceremony. Charity Purfeerst (third from left) with Rowan (fourth from left) and Drew (far right) before being presented with the golden hammer and nails. Below, the Purfeerst family proves that even if, as Robert Frost alleges, "nothing gold can stay," it can at least be pounded into the walls of an Eco Village home. 
Kim Krupka accepts keys and Bible with daughters Karyssa (second from left) and Kayley (third from left).
Kristen Ward accepts keys from Dave. Board member and staunch volunteer Roger Pavlis looks on in approval.
Happy Birthday New Richmond ReStore and Volunteer of the Month: John Levi
As readers of last month's newsletter are well aware of, our New Richmond ReStore celebrated its fifth year anniversary this month, and there will be a jubilant celebration May 19-23 to mark such a momentous occasion. Diligent readers will recall that I gave a quick rundown of the history of the New Richmond ReStore and the vital players involved with its inception in last month's issue. The story, however, is not quite finished just yet, for the story of the New Richmond ReStore could not be fully told without including the truly indispensable John Levi and Thrivent Financial.   

John Levi is as a longtime Financial Consultant with Thrivent Financial and a former SCV-Habitat Board member. Thrivent should be a familiar name by this point as they are one of SCV-Habitat's most steadfast supporters. 

John recalled to me the early days when the ReStore was just a gleam in the eye of the Board. There was a realization that as the affiliate grew it would need additional revenue streams to help finance its growth. To many on the Board, a ReStore was the clear solution: not only would it infuse the growing affiliate with additional revenue, it would also provide a vital community service, keeping scores and scores of quality items out of the landfill. 

The first rule of business is you've got to have yourself a plan, so John joined a few other Board members on a fact finding mission to four other ReStores and came back more optimistic than ever that a ReStore would be a huge boon for SCV-Habitat. Soon thereafter Bob Jeffrey and Dave Meyer - two of the stalwarts that I profiled in last months issue - formulated the idea of a ReStore committee. Bob, Dave, and John joined forces with current Board member Carol Merriman and former Board member David Babcock to form the ReStore committee. Not since Keith Emerson joined forces with Greg Lake and Carl Palmer has there been such a supergroup. Indeed, the ReStore committee worked diligently towards crafting its very own "Tarkus" until finally scoring a meeting with the city of New Richmond regarding some warehouse space at 901B N. Knowles Avenue. Not only was the city supportive of this bold endeavor, they ended up giving a 25,000 dollar grant to help with start-up costs, which the ReStore dutifully paid back well within the four year time-frame.

All of the pieces of the magnificent jigsaw puzzle that is the New Richmond ReStore had finally fallen into place after much diligence and toil - all but one. This lone jigsaw was none other than our very own New Richmond ReStore Manager Andy Scheiderer, but fate would see that this imperative piece would find its rightful space in the grand mosaic of the New Richmond ReStore. You see, Andy had, like Marvin Gaye before him, heard it through the grapevine that the Thrivent office was accepting donations for the future ReStore. It wasn't, but the chance encounter between John Levi and Andy Scheiderer that this little piece of misinformation facilitated was as important to SCV-Habitat as the day a young man from Liverpool named Paul decided to see a band called the Quarrymen was to the history of popular music. Indeed, the chance encounter left an indelible impression on John Levi as he would eventually interview Andy for the manager position. The rest, as they say, is history.

Looking forward to the future, John believes that Thrivent "will continue to be a major sponsor and partner" for SCV-Habitat, and we couldn't be more thrilled about that. Specifically John wants to see Thrivent continue to organize and sponsor international Habitat for Humanity builds, as they have done in the past in Argentina and Guatemala. 

So thank you to John Levi, Thrivent Financial, the City of New Richmond, the ReStore committee, and everybody else who has had a hand in making the New Richmond ReStore such a resounding success.

And if you are in the New Richmond area May 19-23 please consider joining in on the ReStore fifth year anniversary extravaganza. There will be a progressive sale all week long, a silent auction, food on Saturday grilled up by St. Luke's Lutheran Church, and general jocularity and jollification. Hope to see you there, further details will be forthcoming.
John Levi.
Homeowner of the Month: Cori Fosmo

In the words of Charlton Heston in Planet of the Apes, "you've finally really did it!" That's right, my friends, we have finally reached the end of our Staff of the Month column. It was an honor and a pleasure to have gotten to profile so many fascinating and upstanding people who day in and day out turn the various dials and cranks that keep this affiliate plugging along down its virtuous path. But we must now sally forth into this brave new world we are entering. Luckily, though, SCV-Habitat has no shortage of people affiliated with it, so it is with great pride that I am announcing the newest Habitat News Tribune column: Homeowner of the Month.


The first homeowner to receive the honor is none other than Cori Fosmo, proud owner of house 12 of the Eco Village. Cori has spent most of her life in the St. Croix Valley, and it has been her dream to own a modest home with a garden. A pipe dream, it would seem, as although Cori has "very good credit" she simply didn't have the income necessary to "cover a house purchase," but fate would intercede in the form of SCV-Habitat to turn Cori's dream into a reality.  


Cori still remembers the moment she found out she was approved for an Eco Village home. She had to be reminded by the Board member who broke the joyous news, Carol Merriman, to breathe, such was Cori's exuberance. 


And breathe she did, throughout the ensuing days of labor, working side by side with the plethora of dedicated volunteers who so ardently set about constructing Cori's dream. 


Cori labored with the comforting knowledge that at the end of her journey she would have a decent, safe, affordable, and sustainable dwelling for herself and her beloved cat Nisse. Cori looks ahead with fondness and gratitude to many happy years sitting on her porch with Nisse along with friends and family and to tilling her garden year after precious year.


Cori concluded her statements with a moving sentiment that I will share with you unabridged:


"My dream of having a home is finally coming true.  Now I have two great hopes:  One is that everyone who has volunteered really knows how much of a difference they truly make, and the other is that I can live a life worthy of this blessing that I've been given."


Well put Cori, and welcome aboard.

Cori Fosmo at her home dedication ceremony.
Plant Sale for SCV-Habitat!

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