Habitat for Humanity is hosting Raise the Roof on Wednesday, Sept. 25, at 11:30 a.m. at the Chattanooga Convention and Trade Center. Alnoor and Gina Dhanani will chair this year’s fundraiser and Linda Brock of Real Estate Partners is the event’s presenting sponsor. Superintendent of Hamilton County Schools Dr. Bryan Johnson will deliver the keynote address.
Dr. Johnson is a native of Nashville and is a proud product of the city’s public schools. Dr. Johnson has served as a teacher, school administrator, director of secondary schools, chief academic officer, and now serves as the superintendent of schools in Hamilton County.
"Hamilton County Schools seeks to provide graduates prepared for success and homeownership is one of many measures of accomplishment.,” said Dr. Johnson. “Not only can homeownership empower both children and adults in a family to pursue their dreams and improve their lives through education, but a great education can also provide the tools necessary to become a successful homeowner.”
A 2011 survey of U.S. Habitat homeowners by the University of Southern Indiana found that 57 percent of adults in those households were furthering their education. Kual Ayai and his family, whose story was featured at last year’s Raise the Roof luncheon, are an example of how homeownership inspired a pursuit of higher education.
The Ayai family migrated from South Sudan to Chattanooga in 2010. After renting for many years, Mr. Ayai decided it was time to give his family permanent roots in America. Mr. Ayai completed Habitat’s requirements for homeownership in less than eight months, a process that typically takes 18 months.
Homeownership inspired Mr. Ayai to continue bettering the lives of his family, so he decided to go back to school to get his bachelor’s degree. “After having my house, I knew that higher education would provide all of the dreams I have dreamt I could achieve in America,” said Mr. Ayai.
After receiving his bachelor’s degree, Mr. Ayai continued his pursuit of higher education and received his master’s degree in business administration from American InterContinental University this past May.
Over the past 32 years, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga has built 278 homes, providing more than 1,000 women, men, and children with stability and the joy and security of Habitat homeownership.
“We have long believed that strong and stable homes help build strong and stable communities,” said Dominique Brandt, development director for Habitat of Humanity of Greater Chattanooga. “Through fundraisers like Raise the Roof, we are able to help Chattanooga families build strength, stability, and self-reliance.”
Proceeds from Raise the Roof will go directly into funding Habitat for Humanity’s mission of building more decent and affordable homes for deserving families in Hamilton County. Last year’s event raised over $75,000.
Tickets are $65 and tables (seating eight) are $500. To purchase tickets or tables, visit their Eventbrite page or call 756-0507.