Habitat honors local volunteers

Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro Habitat for Humanity’s Hope for Homes Gala honored Fund Tom Montgomery, owner of Old Colony Construction in Staunton, for more than 14 years of outstanding service in philanthropy.

Montgomery noted that he enjoyed supporting Habitat and his other causes because it was more fulfilling to give during his lifetime and see the benefit firsthand.

“You come into this world with nothing, and you are going to leave with nothing, so isn’t it better to make some people happy along the way,” said Montgomery, who lives in Waynesboro with his wife, Dr. Sandra Curry.

Lynn White and Vince Ennis, both of Staunton, were awarded the honorary titles of Board Emeritus with more than 30 years of collective volunteer service and leadership in the organization.

Vince Ennis, John Zinn, Perry Neal, Clayton Griffin, John Howe and Lucian Petras were recognized as those who started the Staunton-Augusta Habitat group in 1991.  Salome Baugher, Virginia Francisco, Marney Gibbs and Anna Pullin, all of Staunton, were recognized for their formative work and the First Staunton Women’s build in 1997.

Andrew Elder received the Outstanding Youth in Service award for 2011.

More than $4,000 was raised through the evening’s silent auction and reception.  All auction items were donated to the event, including an original art piece by Tom Austin; beautiful handmade semi-precious stone necklace, earring, bracelet sets by Elizabeth Gallons; a restored antique hall secretary by Sam Potter; a weekend trip to the Outer Banks; and dinners to Edelweiss Restaurant and Osceola Mill.

Shannon L. Watts, CFRE and president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Virginia Piedmont chapter, spoke on the meaning of philanthropy and recognized this year’s inaugural awardees for standout service in philanthropy. The guest of honor was Ruth Graham, daughter of world-renowned evangelist Billy Graham and Ruth Bell Graham. Graham, an award-winning author, founder and president of Ruth Graham and Friends, spoke on early connections to SAW Habitat’s formation and the relationships and similarities between building homes and building lives with Christ as our foundation.

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