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

February 2016
Habitat News Tribune
A Message from the Editor
Hi, everyone! 

We work very closely with our partner families and get to know the homeowners fairly well over the years.

However, it doesn't take knowing Sara Zugschwert, one of our homeowners, very long before you know she is the epitome of a die-hard Packer fan. Sara also does not have the fondest feelings toward the Vikings, so there is a playful rivalry between Sara and our executive director, Dave Engstrom, a Vikings supporter.

Sara loved coming into the office after a Packer win to give Dave a hard time, which was made even more sweet for Sara if the Vikings had lost.

During the playoffs, Dave and Sara made a bet that if the Packers lost, Sara would have to wear a Vikings Jersey, and Dave would have to wear a Packers jersey if the Packers won.

Well, needless to say, the Packers lost to the Cardinals, so it was time for Sara to hold up her end of the bet. However, she said that she would not be caught dead in a Vikings jersey, so we decided to get Sara into a Vikings jersey the only other way we knew how. 

Have a great day,
Our very own Viking star, Sara Zugschwert
Wednesday Shopping
Need something to do on Wednesday nights? Look no further!

Our River Falls ReStore will now have extended hours on Wednesdays and will stay open from 9 am until 7 pm 

The ReStores (both New Richmond and River Falls) are open Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 9 am - 5 pm and on Saturday from 9 am - 2 pm. The New Richmond store is also open on Wednesdays from 9 am - 5 pm.

Stop on in, have a look around, and shop til you drop!
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, 
contact the office at 715-425-5623.

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

Board of Directors

Maureen Otwell



Joel Skinner
Vice President 

Don Richards

Bill Stokes

Sarah Bruch

Peter Kilde

Heather Logelin

Roger Pavlis 

Bill Richard

Executive Director

Project Manager

Construction Manager
Office Manager
Office Assistant

Outreach and Faith Relations VISTA
ReStore Manager - New Richmond

Donation Procurement 

ReStore Assistant Manager - New Richmond

Donation Assistant - New Richmond

Donation Assistant - New Richmond

ReStore Manager -River Falls

ReStore Associate - River Falls

ReStore Associate - River Falls

ReStore Social Media Consultant - River Falls
Corporate Partners
Four More Families Come Home
January 24 was a special day for four families. Surrounded by family, friends, co-workers, new neighbors, community members, and Habitat staff, the families of Charity Purfeerst, Sara Stephens, Vanessa Simonet, and Kathy Lane were welcomed into their new Eco Village (EV) homes during a home dedication ceremony.

The dedication was kicked off by our executive director, Dave Engstrom, welcoming everyone to the ceremony before introducing the homeowners. The homeowners each took an opportunity to share how grateful and appreciative they are to every person who had a role in making their dream of becoming homeowners a reality.

Pastor Chris Myers of First Congregational Church - River Falls, led the attendees in a prayer before four teachers from Westside Elementary, the school where the EV families' children will attend. The baskets were filled with love, cards handmade by Westside Elementary students, a tie-blanket, and other home decor items.

After the baskets were presented, Pastor Myers asked everyone to reach out a touch a part of the home while he led a prayer in consecrating the homes. "As we recall the love that raised the money, the gifts, and the talents offered by many volunteers, and a new future awaiting the family, we consecrate and bless this home. May these families be filled with the grace and love of God in all they do."

Each family was then presented with a Bible and a set of keys to their home. Debbie Murtha, SCV Habitat office manager, presented Charity Purfeerst her Bible and keys, which was followed by SCV Habitat volunteer of the year, Fred Benson, presenting a Bible and keys to Michelle Smith, an Eco Village homeowner who accepted the items for Sara Stephens because Sara could not be at the dedication. The presentations were wrapped up by longtime volunteer Jim Miller presenting to Vanessa Simonet and board member Roger Pavlis to Kathy Lane.

Once the presentations were done, everyone was invited to stay around, tour the homes, socialize, and enjoy some refreshments.

Martha Quilters of St. Bridget's Church - River Falls were not able to be at the home dedication ceremony but had made each family a quilt, which were given to the families afterward.

We are so grateful to be able to partner with such wonderful families, volunteers, community members, and donors throughout the year, and being able to share this touching event with them was truly a blessing.

Dave Engstrom (far right) kicks off the dedication
Teachers from Westside Elementary present welcome baskets for the families
Debbie Murtha (left) presents Charity Purfeerst her Bible and keys
Fred Benson presents to Michelle Smith, who accepted for Sara Stephens
Jim Miller presents to Vanessa Simonet
Roger Pavlis presents to Kathy Lane and her son
Charity Purfeerst's son joins the three new homeowners in attendance
Martha's Quilters from St. Bridget's made each family a quilt
Meet the New Sheriff in Town
During the January board of directors meeting, new officers for the board of directors were elected, and Maureen Otwell was elected as the new board president. 

Originally from the Philadelphia area, Maureen moved to Minneapolis years ago, where she instantly fell in love with the Midwest. She now proudly calls herself a "Midwest convert."

Maureen has an extensive background in nonprofits. She worked in museums for over thirty years, perhaps most notably as the assistant director for museums at the Minnesota Historical Society. She has also served as the director of the Great River Road Interpretive Center and has been a member of the American Alliance of Museums and a board member of the American Association for State and Local History.

Now in retirement, Maureen serves on the Prescott, WI city council (She is currently running for her second full term.) and has become a deacon in the Episcopal Church in Minnesota, where she is assigned to St. Luke's Church in Minneapolis.

There have been other board changes as well. Sarah Bruch elected to step down from her role as vice president and will transition to be the chair of the personnel committee. In her stead as vice president will now be Joel Skinner. Both Bill Stokes and Don Richards will retain their roles as treasurer and secretary, respectively.

We'd like to acknowledge all of the hard work, dedication, and time it takes to serve on our organization's board of directors, and we thank these individuals for their selflessness and willingness to serve. 

Maureen Otwell

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