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HHCA gears up to build lasting legacy in 2020

Angela Gismondi
HHCA gears up to build lasting legacy in 2020

The Hamilton-Halton Construction Association (HHCA) has something special planned for its 100th anniversary in 2020 — the sponsorship of a home build with Habitat for Humanity Hamilton.

“The idea behind the build is that we’re turning 100 in 2020 and it’s a pretty big milestone,” said Sue Ramsay, general manager of the HHCA. “We’ve been part of the community for 100 years and this is our opportunity to leave a lasting legacy.”

The HHCA Legacy Build 2020 was conceived after a meeting between the association’s Women in Construction Group and Habitat for Humanity Hamilton about doing a build day. The organization has been HHCA’s charity of choice since 2002, said Ramsay.

“We were in this meeting with Habitat talking about a build day and somebody mentions this Women in Law group and how they did a whole home build. The next thing you know everybody is like ‘we should do that, we can do that for the centennial that would be really cool’ and then it just snowballed,” explained Ramsay. “Somehow we went from the idea of a build day to fundraising to building an entire home.”

The project is being spearheaded by the Women in Construction Group.

“They are an incredible group of women from all facets of the construction industry completely committed to building a home with Habitat and supporting a local family,” Ramsay said.

The legacy build was announced at the Christmas lunch in 2016 and fundraising began in 2017. Ramsay was new to the role at the time and had never done any major fundraising. The group is required to raise $200,000 through cash and in-kind donations (materials and labour).

“We’re doing all the fundraising and we’re in a unique position because we’re a construction association so some members have pledged dollars, some have pledged materials, some have pledged skilled labour, once we’re underway,” said Ramsay. “We’re up over $80,000 committed, including the contributions.”

The response from members and the community has been really positive and Habitat has been amazing to work with, Ramsay added.

“Our very first pledge was the Hamilton Port Authority who said that they will take our excess soil,” she said. “We have another member who has committed for all of the cement and that’s a pretty big commitment, especially a couple years out because we don’t know what aggregate prices are going to be like in 2020. A couple of members have stepped up with $10,000 and lots of smaller amounts.”

She hopes members will also be involved in the actual building of the home.

“I have spoken to a lot of members who are very interested in going out there, especially with their office staff to involve some of the people who don’t always get that opportunity to do something so tangible,” said Ramsay. “I’m quite confident that not only are we going to fundraise for it but we’re going to do a good amount of the work — that’s my hope.”

So far the group has hosted a number of successful fundraising events including Lagers for Legacy, Designer Bag Bingo, a fashion show with the Ancaster Rotary Club and a very popular Beer for a Year raffle which they will be running again this year. The winner will be announced at the Christmas lunch in November. The group is also gearing up for a large-scale fundraising event next fall.

Ramsay said because the build is so far away, a piece of land has not been secured yet.

“Spring 2020 is the goal and for the most part you don’t want to hold the piece of property for too long because then you’re responsible for taxes and maintenance,” Ramsay explained. “I’m hoping by early next year we’ll have a piece of property. It makes it a little more difficult to imagine when we don’t have an address yet.”

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