AKRON – Habitat for Humanity of Summit County celebrated its 30th anniversary June 30 by hosting a free outdoor celebration at ReStore in Akron.

HFH is a nonprofit organization that builds homes for families in need of a decent, safe and affordable house, supplemented with a zero percent interest loan.

“We couldn’t do what we do without the community,” Rochelle Sibbio, president and CEO of HFH of Summit County, said. “We wanted a way to say thank you to the people who shop at ReStore and for our volunteers and community who support us.”

Sibbio said she estimated almost 1,000 people came out to the event.

The group, which has over 4,000 volunteers, chose sunglasses as the anniversary theme based on the 1986 song, “The Future’s So Bright,” by Timbuk 3, which goes, “the future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades.”

Throughout the year, HFH of Summit County has hosted several events to commemorate its 30 years. This bash was specifically for the volunteers, county residents and partner families that make up the HFH of Summit County’s community that contributes to the construction of an annual average of eight new houses.

“This is such a good organization,” Lonny Jackson, of Northfield said. “It’s a blessing for my family to be involved with this program.”

Jackson is a partner family currently involved with the program. He and several family members attended the party and participated in the games and activities, like the “Giant Jenga,” golf putting, cornhole and chalk drawing.

The organization raffled a playhouse, presented a time capsule and rented a photo booth for pictures. Acoustic Jukebox Band and DJ supplied music and the kids got a visit from Akron RubberDucks mascots Webster and Rubberta. ReStore hosted an art auction, a painted coaster art sale, a raffle and offered a 30 percent discount for all items in the store.

ReStore, located on Romig Road just outside Norton and Barberton, sells new and used building materials and home furnishing at discounted prices to the public, builders and contractors, with all proceeds benefitting HFH. ReStore, which also double as HFH of Summit County’s main offices, averages 450 transactions per day and decreases the amount of construction waste in Summit County by recycling and selling usable materials leftover from various construction projects.

Along with ReStore and the new construction homes, HFH of Summit County offers “A Brush with Kindness,” an exterior home repair program available for low-income individuals or families that require assistance with the outside upkeep of their homes, including painting, siding, landscaping, windows, porches, gutters, doors, etc.

Another program HFH of Summit County implements is home deconstruction, which involves tearing down all or parts of homes that need repaired or demolished. HFH of Summit County, which partners with the City of Akron and Summit County Land Bank, has deconstructed 400 homes and is the largest deconstruction unit of any HFH chapter in the country. The organization recently signed a new partnership with the city of Cuyahoga Falls.

HFH of Summit County will continue its 30th anniversary commemoration with a golf outing at Portage Country Club in Akron July 25 and a wine and beer tasting event Oct. 6 at the Akron Zoo.

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