New homeowner Stacey Cater and her son Chase received the keys to their home on July 20 during a Habitat for Humanity Key Ceremony. The keys were presented by Bonnie Mitchell
It had been a long time coming, but on July 20, a significant number of the helping hands that played a part in completing the first Habitat for Humanity house in Ormstown were on hand to watch as the keys were officially placed in those of new homeowners Stacey Cater and her 8-year-old son, Chase.
The culmination of the Our House Project, initiated in 2011 by the carpentry department at the Chateauguay Valley Career Education Centre (CVCEC) with the full support of the New Frontiers School Board (NFSB) and in partnership with Habitat for Humanity Quebec and the municipality of Ormstown, was always going to be an emotional day, overflowing with pride, accomplishment and joy for all those involved.
"The key ceremony is the reason we do the work we do," said Habitat for Humanity Quebec’s CEO, Madeleine Martins, who addressed the crowd gathered on the lawn outside the semi-detached houses built by the students at CVCEC and finished by hundreds of volunteers. She went on to note how the event symbolizes in many ways the mobilization of a community, and to be sure, the New Frontiers and Ormstown communities have rallied behind this project.
"This project is all consuming. It’s wonderful, it’s beautiful," said Stacy Cater, before thanking all those involved in the lengthy project on behalf of herself and her son. A graduate of the nursing program at CVCEC, Cater had known of the project but it was Chase who brought the application home from school and encouraged her to apply. Now, with key firm in hand, she is looking forward to giving back to the municipality she now calls home.
Certified LEED Platinum
"The reason we took this long is because we did it really well," said Bonnie Mitchell, the Director of Continuing Education with the NFSB. "It is perfect," she beamed, while speaking of the incredible team of teachers, staff, administrators and students that made the project possible.
"This isn’t just better, this is best," said Emmanuel B. Cosgrove, the Director General of Écohabitation and senior evaluator with LEED Canada, in congratulating all involved in the visionary project before confirming the houses would indeed be certified LEED Platinum, the highest certification for green building and design.
Second family found
Toward the end of the key ceremony, Habitat for Humanity Quebec surprised the crowd with a special announcement: after an exhaustive search, Stacey and Chase’s neighbours had been selected and were on site. Also from Chateauguay, Kevin, Kim and their five children found out just two days prior to the ceremony that they would soon be homeowners. The family, who will now begin their volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity in finishing their new home, are expected to move in sometime in the fall.