It’s a continual challenge to provide housing for those in need in the greater Los Angeles area and Habitat for Humanity honored some of its prime movers, those who are champions of affordable housing, at its 2017 Builders Ball, held September 28 at the Beverly Hilton’s International Ballroom.
The annual gala celebrates Habitat LA’s partners in construction and real estate as well as donors and volunteers who help to transform the city’s housing situation by empowering families and building strength and stability in the area through home ownership.
Among those honored were legendary boxer Sugar Ray Leonard, Los Angeles Kings president and Hockey Hall of Fame member Luc Robitaille and Morley Builders.
The evening’s entertainment was provided by En Vogue, one of the five biggest selling American female music groups in history. The group performed an eight-song set, including one of its hits like, “My Lovin’” and “Free Your Mind.”
The proceedings kicked off with the introduction of Kaoru Mulvihill’s family which includes three sons, one of whom is confined to a wheelchair. She and her family were selected for a Culver City project, which will build them a new home that is wheelchair-accessible.
Leonard, one of the greatest sports icons of the 20th century, was recognized with the Dream Builder Award. He has been devoted to the Los Angeles community and helping people in need through his namesake foundation, which he and his wife Bernadette founded in 2009.
“After the Olympics, when I turned pro, I made an effort money to buy my parents a home,” the champion boxer recalled. “A home is more than a house, it’s a foundation and I look forward to seeing many more success stories.
Robitaille was the recipient of the foundation builder award. He is in his first season as president of the Los Angeles Kings after playing 19 seasons in the NHL including 14 with the Kings, has immersed himself in the Southern California community. He has personally helped build homes throughout the area and he hosted a special build day at Staples Center.
“To be able to spend time with this organization and see the difference it makes, that’s the reward,” he said. “To be able to write your name on it to buy for in building a new house is very special.”
Morley builders, which has been in business for 70 years, is 100% employee-owned and prides itself on meeting constructive challenges with creative solutions. The recipient of the builder of the year award, the company has built a number of projects that incorporate affordable housing and has supported habitat LA both financially and with employees who volunteer for the organization.
Guests at the event, including Tina Knowles, Cookie Johnson, Trevor Jackson, Tom Schwartz and Apryl Jones enjoyed a pre-reception followed by dinner and a live auction that raised funds for building homes.
Habitat’s goals in Los Angeles include serving 51 communities throughout the area, building renovating and repairing 1,000 homes to serve 15,000 people, providing 1 million people access to affordable home improvement materials and mobilizing 100,000 individuals through advocacy, special programs and events to support affordable housing.