Sisters Habitat for Humanity marked a major milestone last Sunday, with the dedication of the chapter's 50th home in Sisters.
The dedication capped an active weekend, which featured the organization's second Women Build, which was part of a nationwide project over the weekend.
About 45 women participated, according to chapter Executive Director Sharlene Weed.
"We had four shifts of about 10," she said.
The workers had a choice of serving on a framing crew at the future home of Bob, Linda, and Cole Casanova, or landscaping at the adjacent home of Jennifer Heiden, Randy Smith and their children Soren and Serafina.
The Heiden-Smith home was the one dedicated on Sunday afternoon.
Lowe's awarded the chapter $5,000 to help purchase building materials for the event.
Liz Crossman, chair of the Habitat International Board of Directors, was part of the landscaping crew on Friday. She was working in a pair of boots she has inscribed with the names of the places where she's participated in projects - from Thailand to Tulsa.
Crossman originally got involved with Habitat for Humanity when she ran the foundation for the forest products company Weyerhauser. She noted that Habitat was regarded as a perfect fit with the company as it reflected its product line and served as valuable team-building for the company.
"I was a keen volunteer," she noted. "I got bit by 'Habitatitis.'"
Crossman toured Sisters Habitat homes during her visit to Sisters, noting how many remained in the ownership of the original family. She remarked on the high level of activity of the small
"Fifty homes - that's really quite extraordinary."
The event provides an opportunity for women to work together and take on challenges they might not encounter in their day-to-day lives.
"The women come out, they learn new skills," Crossman said. "How many of us get a chance to raise a wall or set a window? It's definitely not a gimmick. It's caught on as a way to show women that they can do this kind of work, too."
Deschutes County Commissioner Tammy Baney was out for her first Women Build, as part of the framing crew. Baney served on the Bend Habitat board of directors for eight years.
"I'm having a great time," she said.
That seemed to be a broadly shared sentiment, as the work crews labored, joked and teased each other, as walls went up and the landscape blossomed with new plants.