In the News...

  • Read about us “in the news”…

  • Save the Date: Build on the Green Saturday, May 13

  • (Published March 23, 2017) Click here for the article and photos in Shore Publishing.

    Raise the Roof has scheduled its Build on the Green 2017 on the Branford Green on Saturday, May 13 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    Volunteers will come together to build exterior walls for use in a future Habitat for Humanity house.

    Participants are asked to register in advance for one of four 90-minute build shifts. Visit www.raisetheroofct.org to find out how to register.

    Volunteers are sought to help with set up and clean up. Build volunteers must be at least 16 years of age and sign a waiver. Volunteers younger than 18 must have the waiver co-signed by a parent. Those who would like to help but prefer not to build will be able to participate in other volunteer opportunities for that day. Email Raise the Roof at contactus@raisetheroofct.org with hours of availability.

    People are also invited to come to the Branford Green on May 13 to write their wishes and blessings or add artwork on one of the Message Walls, which will be built into the next Raise the Roof Habitat house, tucked into the heart of the home.

    Guilford Savings Bank is Raise the Roof’s Event Sponsor for Build on the Green 2017. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available.

  • A Place to Call Home

  • Read here for the story behind our twelfth build. (Article written by Pem McNerney, Living Editor • Contact Reporter, Shore Publishing Published May 04, 2016)

  • Build on the Green Returns to Guilford

  • (Published March 22, 2016) Click here for the article and photos in Shore Publishing.

    To build a house, you need wood, nails, and contractors, but to build a home, you need a community. Raise the Roof, a shoreline Habitat for Humanity connection dedicated to the elimination of poverty housing through community participation, is getting ready to build its 13th house, and organizers are asking for Guilford residents to help make it a home.

    On Saturday, May 21 on the Guilford Green, Raise the Roof will host Build on the Green, a project where sections of a new home will be constructed by volunteers right in the center of town. Raise the Roof board member and event co-chair Timothy Carney said the build is a great opportunity to be a part of an inspiring project.

    “We recently held the groundbreaking for the house, and are now welcoming volunteers to help us complete the build,” he said. “The rough walls we build in Guilford will be used in building this house.”

    The new house will be located at 2 Strong Street in New Haven and a family has already been selected for the new build. Carney said 12 rough walls will be built on the Green and they are looking for plenty of volunteers.

    “The volunteers will be asked to lift and position two-by-four beams into pre-set configurations and to nail the pieces together in the form of trusses and walls,” he said. “The spirit of the day is teamwork, and the aim is to have fun while doing something worthwhile for the community.”

    Raise the Roof is looking for a total of 72 volunteers—60 to construct the walls in four, 90 minute shifts, and 12 volunteers to set-up and clean-up.

    “No special skills are required to volunteer either at the Build on the Green or at the job site itself,” Carney said. “Skilled supervision will guide the volunteers in their efforts, and no one will be asked or expected to perform tasks beyond their abilities. Safety is our first priority.”

    Carney said while most of the day will be about building and community, it is also a chance for people to learn more about Habitat for Humanity.

    “Raise the Roof holds the Build on the Green primarily to raise awareness for the charity and to underscore the hands-on method we employ to build our houses,” he said. “The event makes it easy for our core community to volunteer for a short time in helping to build a portion of our next house, and we hope that this stimulates more people to volunteer for an entire day on the job site in New Haven.”

    Volunteers must be 16 years of age or older and are asked to sign up online.

    “This is a great way for a family, a neighborhood, or an organization to spend time working together and benefiting a deserving family,” he said.

    To donate or sign-up for the build, visit: http://raisetheroofct.org/page/28690-Build-on-the-Green-2-16.

  • 2015 Gala Of Stars: Dancing For The Cause

  • (Published November 2015) Raise the Roof, the shoreline connection to Habitat for Humanity, held its first Gala of Stars: Dancing for the Cause fundraiser on Friday, Nov. 13. Raise the Roof invited a group of community leaders to a dance competition after some training from the Arthur Murray Guilford Dance Center. The event successfully raised more than $60,000 to aid in the building a new home for a family in need.

    Sean Patrick Fowler, Special to the Courant

    Click here for Sean’s photos of the event.

  • 2015 Stars Dance for the Cause

  • (Published December 03, 2015) Click here for the article and photos in Shore Publishing.

    With passion, commitment, spirit, and fun, the 2015 Gala of the Stars contestants managed to dance with their hearts as well as their feet. For two months, they took ballroom dance lessons, campaigned for “votes”/dollars, and spread the story of Raise the Roof’s mission. On Nov. 13, in a gala event at The WoodWinds of Branford, these stars danced Raise the Roof to its goal of raising the funds to build its 12th Habitat for Humanity house—more than $60,000 was raised.

    The 2015 stars were Eileen and Tom Banisch, Angela Clemmons and Peter O’Donnell, Deb and Russell Heinrich, Dodie Milardo and Will Gambardella, Nancy and Don Rankin, Heidi Voight and Todd Russell, Joy Grabow Weaver and Tom Scarice, and Grace Zhang and Alex Taubes. Instructors were from event partner Arthur Murray of Guilford.

    Raise the Roof thanks all of the stars for putting their hearts into dancing to build a Raise the Roof Habitat for Humanity house, and the event sponsors and to all who voted in support of the dancers.

    For more information, visit raisetheroofct.org for upcoming information about the 2 Strong Street, New Haven, groundbreaking ceremony and work opportunities.

  • Voting Still Open for Habitat for Humanity Fundraiser

  • (Published November 12, 2015) Click here for the article and photos in Shore Publishing.

    A television news personality, a local school superintendent, a professional singer, a former state legislator, an author, a theater director, and business and community leaders are busy shopping for dancing shoes and making their way to the Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Guilford. Raise the Roof, the Shoreline connection to Habitat for Humanity, has invited a group of stars—community leaders passionate about making the world a better place by providing opportunities for families to own safe, affordable homes—to dance and compete with a special fundraising twist: They are helping to build a Habitat house in New Haven.

    The stars are learning choreographed ballroom routines suited to their personal styles during 10 private lessons provided by Arthur Murray of Guilford, Raise the Roof’s Event Partner. The dancing stars will perform on Friday, Nov. 13 at Raise the Roof’s Gala of Stars: Dancing for the Cause at The WoodWinds of Branford. The stars are competing for “votes” (dollars = votes) and their dancing is raising funds for the building of the next Raise the Roof Habitat for Humanity house. The dancing couple that receives the most votes will be named the winner and will receive the grand-prize 2015 Shoreline Stars trophy. Voting takes place online through the Nov. 13 gala performances. To donate to vote, visit raisetheroofct.org, where there is also information on how to make a donation and vote by mail.

    A group of celebrity judges will present special awards the night of the event. In addition to the dance performances, gala guests will enjoy a plated dinner, along with time for their own dancing and to mingle with the stars. Raise the Roof’s stars have been invited because of their leadership, heart, and commitment. These stars are dancing to build a home for a deserving family. Tickets to the Gala of Stars: Dancing for the Cause can be purchased at raisetheroofct.org.

  • Local Stars Get Ready to Dance for a Good Cause

  • (Published November 03, 2015) Click here for the article and photos in Shore Publishing.

    Ready to see your neighbors and community leaders throw on their dancing shoes for a good cause? Raise the Roof, the shoreline connection to Habitat for Humanity, has added a new twist to its annual gala fundraiser—local stars will be dancing for your votes, and your charity dollars.

    The event, Gala of Stars: Dancing for the Cause, will be held Friday, Nov. 13 from 6:30 to 11 p.m. at WoodWinds in Branford. Treasure of Raise the Roof Donna Gregory said they are very excited to put on this new event.

    “The inspiration for the fundraiser came from successful, long-running events held in Maryland,” she said. “Raise the Roof saw the possibility of building their own unique and exciting version, which brought them to the work of creating and putting together the first ‘Gala of Stars.’”

    Many local stars agreed to dance and compete and the final list of competitors was revealed on Sept. 12. The competitors are: Eileen and Tom Banisch, Angela Clemmons and Peter O’Donnell, Deb and Russell Heinrich, Dodie Milardo and Will Gambardella, Nancy and Don Rankin, Heidi Voight and Todd Russell, and Joy Weaver and Tom Scarice.

    The dancers are currently taking lessons to prepare for the event and Gregory says it is going well.

    “Each dance couple is taking 10 private classes with Raise the Roof’s Prima Ballerina Event Partner, Arthur Murray Guilford, and many of the dancers are taking ballroom lessons for the first time,” she said. “Teachers and students have reported that lessons are going well and fun is being had!”

    Stars are competing for votes, which equate to dollars in an effort to fund the next Raise the Roof Habitat for Humanity House. Voting is currently open online at http://raisetheroofct.org and people can vote at the event.

    “Voting is off to an excellent start, with 150 individuals and organizations donating to vote for dancers or sponsor the event,” she said. “Some individuals have spread their votes across more than one dance couple in this fun, friendly competition.”

    Gregory said those who vote help to build with their donations.

    “The 12th Raise the Roof Habitat for Humanity house will be built at 2 Strong Street, New Haven,” she said. “Raise the Roof commits $60,000 to the building of each house. The goal for Gala of Stars: Dancing for the Cause is to raise the funds needed to build this next house.”

    The gala on Nov. 13 will include a plated dinner and dance performances from all of the couples. Proceeds from the ticket sales will also go toward building the house.

    Gregory said the couple with the most donations/votes will receive the grand prize trophy, but noted this event is not about winning or losing.

    “In the end, the dancing stars, the voters, and the judges are all on the same team with the same wonderful goal of building a Habitat for Humanity house—a family’s home,” she said.

    To vote or purchase tickets, visit http://raisetheroofct.org.

  • Raise the Roof Holds Gala of Stars: Dancing for the Cause Fundraiser

  • (Published October 01, 2015) Click here for the article and photos in Shore Publishing.

    Raise the Roof is holding its Gala of Stars: Dancing for the Cause fundraising event for which participants are learning choreographed ballroom routines to be performed during the event on Friday, Nov. 13 at the Woodwinds of Branford.

    The stars are competing for “votes” (dollars = votes) and their dancing is raising funds for the building of the next Raise the Roof Habitat for Humanity house. The dance couple that receives the most votes will be named the winner and will receive the grand prize 2015 Shoreline Stars trophy. Voting is taking place online and will stay open through the Nov. 13 gala performances.

    The stars competing in the event include Eileen and Tom Banisch, Angela Clemmons and Peter O’Donnell, Deb and Russell Heinrich, Dodie Milardo and Will Gambardella, Nancy and Don Rankin, Heidi Voight and Todd Russell, Joy Grabow Weaver and Tom Scarice, and Grace Zhang and Alex Taubes.

    The event takes place on Nov. 13 from 6:30 to 11 p.m. at the Woodwinds, 29 Schoolground Road, Branford. Ticket sales are opening soon; visit raisetheroofct.org for updates.

    This information was provided by Raise the Roof.

  • Local Stars Dancing for the Cause

  • (Published September 10, 2015) Click here for the article and photos in Shore Publishing.

    A television news personality, a local school superintendent, a professional singer, a former state legislator, an author, a theater director, and business and community leaders are busy shopping for dancing shoes and making their way to the Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Guilford. Raise the Roof, the Shoreline connection to Habitat for Humanity, has invited a group of stars—community leaders passionate about making the world a better place by providing opportunities for families to own safe, affordable homes—to dance and compete with a special fundraising twist.

    They are helping to build a Habitat house in New Haven.

    The stars are learning choreographed ballroom routines suited to their personal styles during ten private lessons provided by Arthur Murray of Guilford, Raise the Roof’s Event Partner. The dancing stars will perform on Friday, Nov. 13 at Raise the Roof’s Gala of Stars: Dancing for the Cause at The WoodWinds of Branford. The stars are competing for “votes” (dollars = votes) and their dancing is raising funds for the building of the next Raise the Roof Habitat for Humanity house. The dancing couple that receives the most “votes” will be named the winner and will receive the grand-prize 2015 Shoreline Stars trophy. Voting takes place online and will stay open through the Nov. 13 gala performances. Donate to vote at raisetheroofct.org, where there is also information on how to make a donation and vote by mail.

    A group of celebrity judges will present special awards the night of the event. In addition to the dance performances, gala guests will enjoy a plated dinner, along with time for their own dancing and to mingle with the stars. Raise the Roof’s stars have been invited because of their leadership, heart, and commitment. These stars are dancing to build a home for a deserving family. Tickets to the Gala of Stars: Dancing for the Cause can be purchased at raisetheroofct.org.

    This information was provided by Raise the Roof.

  • Raise the Roof with Rotaries

  • BRANFORD [January 19, 2015] The whine of table saws and clang of hammers pierce the cold January sky as shoreline Rotarians, other volunteers, and members of Habitat for Humanity join in a project constructing a house at 603 Sherman Parkway in New Haven. The site is the future home of Kawusu & Ramatu Sheriff and their children.

    This project is due to the initiative of the Guilford Rotary Club following a presentation by Raise the Roof outlining its efforts to build Habitat homes in New Haven neighborhoods. Raise the Roof is the shoreline Habitat for Humanity connection, formerly known as Madison Cares.

    The Rotary District 7980 Foundation approved a Matching Grant application for the Branford, Guilford, and Madison clubs, whereby each club donated $2500. This resulted in a total donation of $15,000 to Raise the Roof with club funds being matched by the District. Barry Farbrother of the Guilford Rotary spearheaded this effort to obtain the grant. The Shoreline club presidents who supported the grant are David Chew (Branford), John Sengstacken (Guilford), and Ed Pellegrino (Madison). Gary Drake continues to act as liaison to Raise the Roof.

    Raise the Roof president, Don Epperson, Sr., reports that the house is their 11th Habitat build. Onsite construction will be performed by shoreline Rotarians, other volunteers, and trades people provided by Habitat for Humanity. Private Individuals or organizations may also donate “house parts” to this build by visiting this page. Volunteers interested in working on the house are encouraged to sign up at raisetheroofct.org under ‘Help Build This House.”

    Habitat for Humanity of Greater New Haven partner families are selected through an application process. Partial criteria include demonstrating a need for housing, ability to carry a mortgage and completing 400 hours of sweat equity toward the building of Habitat homes. It serves families who earn 30-60 per cent of area median income and who would have no other way to own a home of their own.

    Rotarians and others will continue to solder, saw, sand, sheetrock, and scale the roof through the icy air of winter. Habitat estimates completion in approximately 3 – 4 months.

    The combined effort of Raise the Roof and Rotary will be showcased in a “Build on the Guilford Green” event, May 16th 2015. This day-long event will feature the building of actual walls, to then be trucked to New Haven by volunteers along with music, food, and much more, demonstrating how to improve New Haven neighborhoods, “One house at a time.”

    Written and submitted by Alpha Coiro
    Alphabetty1@att.net; 203-488-7103

  • Pictures above are as follows:

    #1-ON THE ROOF-John Trowbridge, Guilford Rotary C- Glen Stewart, Habitat New Haven construction manager, R-Gary Drake, project coordinator, Alpha Coiro-photog

    #2- Front: Sheriff children
    Middle: L to R: Gary Drake, Guilford Rotary project coordinator; John Sengstacken, Guilford Rotary Pres.; Don Epperson, Sr., President RTR Executive Committee; Mr. Sheriff, house recipient; Ed Pellegrino, Madison RC president; Jim Satterwhite, Madison Rotary Club
    Back: David Chew, Branford Rotary President; Phil Carloni, Branford Rotarian, Michael Maguire-photog

    #3- Kawusu Sheriff and 2 children, house recipients, Michael Maguire-photog

    #4-Shadow-workers, Alpha Coiro-photog.

  • “Raise the Roof” Gala Event Celebration

  • Annual Gala took place Friday, November 7th at the Madison Beach Hotel

  • The Turay family arrives and is welcomed by Don Epperson, President of Raise the Roof
  • The 11th annual Raise the Roof Gala event was held Friday night Nov. 7th 2014. 120 plus guests enjoyed a plated dinner and music at the beautiful Madison Beach Hotel to support Raise the Roof, the shoreline connection to Habitat for Humanity Greater New Haven.

    After registering at the hotel’s concierge desk in the main lobby, guests proceeded upstairs to the ballroom past a large “Raise the Roof” banner hung on the staircase railing.

    Here in the hotel’s upper hallway, doors, windows, kitchen cabinets, doorknobs and other “house parts” displayed on large white easels greeted the guests. During dinner guests were then given the chance to buy a house part for the next Habitat home to be built at Sherman Parkway in New Haven in 2015.

    A unique silent art auction was also offered with beautiful water and oil paintings from four renowned local shoreline artists. Four tables displayed a total of sixteen pieces of original artworks giving each patron time to consider and bid on their favorite piece.

    Dinner was served across 14 tables circling a large dance floor that would be well used later. Mike Maguire, the founder of Raise the Roof served as Master of Ceremonies and after dinner also conducted a “live art auction” for three very unique pieces of art. Don Epperson, president of Raise the Roof also recognized the event sponsors and the Turay family, the latest family to move into a Raise the Roof sponsored home on Greenwood street in New Haven.

    After dinner guests danced to the music of the “Lunchbox Band” on a packed dance floor.

    Raise the Roof is now in its 11th year of helping to build new homes for low-income families in New Haven. For more information and to make a donation or volunteer to work at the next build site click here

  • Raise the Roof Transitions to New Hands

  • Shore Publishing, October 27, 2014

  • Raise the Roof, the shoreline connection to Habitat for Humanity of Greater New Haven, has announced that Maureen Lopes recently stepped down as president of its board of directors. Don Epperson, Sr., has replaced her as president.

    Founded in 2004 by long-term Madison residents Ellen and Mike Maguire, Raise the Roof recruits volunteers from shoreline communities to work alongside Habitat families to build new homes in New Haven. Over the past 10 years it has raised more than $500,000 and completed 10 homes. Lopes has served on the Raise the Roof Board for nine of those 10 years and has been president of the board for the last three.

    Epperson has worked on 10 to 15 houses in New Haven over the past several years and joined the board in 2013.
    Read Article in Shore Publishing