POMPANO BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - There was some sweat equity in Broward County this weekend from soon-to-be homeowners who rolled up their sleeves and got to work alongside several South Florida CEOs determined to help build affordable housing.

The Fifth Annual Habitat for Humanity CEO Build brought together business leaders in Pompano Beach on Saturday to help build Habitat homes and give back to people who are the heart and soul of South Florida.

With every swing of the hammer and buzz of the saw, the dream of home ownership came closer to becoming a reality for Petra Fraser-Stone.

“This is my dream come true. I’ve waited a long time for this,” she said.

Fraser-Stone has worked for it, too. The Broward County schoolteacher is one of thousands of people who want to live and thrive in South Florida but struggle to do it.

Until now.

“Home ownership is a dream, you know. It’s the American dream, when you think about it,” said Fraser-Stone.

Fraser-Stone is putting in the work, or sweat equity, as it’s known to the volunteers with Habitat for Humanity of Broward.

On Saturday, Fraser-Stone’s volunteer counterparts are CEOs of South Florida businesses who are giving back by helping solve an affordable housing crisis afflicting families everywhere.

Among these business leaders was Rita Case, the president and CEO of Rick Case Automotive Group.

“Habitat for Humanity is community-oriented. They really build the homes within a community, by the people who will live in the community, for the people who will live in the community,” she said. “It is a community effort.”

Case helped build this Habitat community, literally from the ground up.

“Hearing Ms. Fraser today, oh, my gosh, we were all in tears,” said Case. “That’s what makes it worth something in my heart. I love what this does, I love how this changes lives, I love how it gives people a chance [to reach] the American dream.”

“And it’s just a landmark, and seeing it from just dirt to coming together as a community is truly what Habitat is,” said Nancy Robin, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Broward. “It’s not just building homes; it’s building community and hope, and being here today just embodies that.”

WSVN is a proud sponsor of this important initiative.

That’s why 7News anchor Craig Stevens was up early to host this Fifth Annual CEO Build.

“This is such a great organization, it’s such a great community. I mean, everything about Habitat is aligned with what our values are,” said Keith Koenig, CEO of City Furniture.

It’s the value of home, and the dream of home ownership, for people who strive for this piece of the American dream.

“What a phenomenal story. We would have lost a tremendous Broward County schoolteacher who’s impacting the lives of, our future, our children,” said Brent Burns, CEO of JM Family Enterprises. “She’s able to continue to teach and continue to have a positive impact because Habitat’s made home ownership affordable for her.”

“I cannot keep a smile off my face to save my life this morning,” said Fraser-Stone during a ceremony held Saturday.

It is a life-changing chance for a woman who is teaching the next generation.

“I think about it almost every day. When I’m at work, alone in my classroom, I have literally cried tears of joy,” said Fraser-Stone.

This educator is helping to raise future CEOs, perhaps, and soon will have a home for her family because of the opportunity to dream big.

“This is my home, and home means so much, and family means so much, and just to be able to be given the opportunity to stay, this is my blessing,” said Fraser-Stone.

This is what Habitat is all about.

“More people need to know about this. My colleagues who do know about it, they’ve come to me and [are] like, ‘How do I do this? How can I make it?'” said Fraser-Stone. “Because we’re all in the same boat.”

These are the last of 76 homes built in the community started by Rick Case. The new owners should be able to move in sometime in the next few months.

WSVN is a longtime supporter and sponsor of Habitat for Humanity.


Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami

Habitat for Humanity of Broward

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