Teller County Habitat for Humanity bounces back

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After lying dormant for a time, Teller County Habitat for Humanity is bouncing back into the public eye. With Jamie Caperton as the new executive director, Habitat is front and center with Stilettos and Studs Nov. 16, the high-profile fundraiser that asks celebrants to put on their duds to help build three more townhomes.

Caperton, who has more than 30 years of experience with nonprofit organizations, moved from consulting since March to the full-time director's position in October.

“We've put together a great team of volunteers to work with us in lots of different avenues, on the job site, as fundraisers and technical help,” she said.

Since its inception in 2000 Habitat has built 24 homes; its latest project is Las Casas Townhomes in Woodland Park which is now in Phase II.

In addition to the “Stilettos,” Caperton is promoting the “I Love my Stud,” fundraiser. “We're selling interior studs in the house; people can decorate them and they become the actual interior studs in the home,” she said. The studs are $100 apiece.

To help fund the $75,000 in annual operating costs, which includes Caperton's salary, Cripple Creek & Victor Mining Co. donated $5,000, which has been matched by Habitat donors. The mine donated the funds under the Heroes for Humanity fundraising project.

To help fund construction costs for new projects, the Glove and Hammer Fund offers opportunities for funding partnerships with corporations and private donors, for instance.

The new funding arms are designed to keep the organization going, as the board decided to close the ReStore in Woodland Park last month. “After a year of being opened, the ReStore just wasn't turning the dollars we were looking for,” Caperton said.

Under Caperton, Habitat is renewing its efforts at fundraising. “We're going out talking to people, writing grants and concentrating on that one-on-one ask, getting out into the community,” she said.

Caperton, with her husband Ben, is the former owner of Charitable Treasures, founder of Charitable Treasures Workshop, and owner of The Cellar Door, which is closing this month.

As well, the Capertons founded the annual Vino & Notes Jazz Festival in Woodland Park. With the new position, the Capertons has pledged to carry on the tradition with the proceeds going to Habitat.

Stilettos and Studs begins at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16 at Shining Mountain Golf Club. The gala includes dinner, live music and entertainment. Among the auction items is a donation by the office of Sheriff Mike Ensminger for a weekend at the SWAT demonstrations.

Tickets to the fundraiser are $45 for a single and $80 a couple. For information, call 687-4447.