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Champions Tour players visit Habitat for Humanity project during Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic

Champions Tour players Olin Browne (L) and Michael Allen (R) visit with Denise Evans in her home.

April 5, 2013

By Dave Senko, PGA TOUR Staff

For the fourth year in succession, Champions Tour professionals paid a visit to a Habitat for Humanity project on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast in conjunction with the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic which was held recently in Biloxi.
This year, Michael Allen and Olin Browne took some time during tournament week to visit the home of Denise Evans, a retired school teacher who was selected to have her home weatherized in a program set up through Habitat for Humanity of the MS Gulf Coast (HFHMGC).

“It was nice to see firsthand what really happens and how many wonderful people volunteer to help other great people in our communities,” said Allen, who claimed the 2013 Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic title. “We have great people in communities all over the country and it’s very nice to see people helping other people.”  

Through a referral from Mercy Housing and Human Development, the free program was established to target homeowners who meet eligibility requirements and had a need to weatherize their home that will permanently lower their monthly utility bills. Funding for the weatherization project came from a grant from the U.S. Dept. of Energy and Habitat International.

The Weatherization Program requires the participating homeowner to attend a one-hour class to educate them on the basics of weatherization and the financial benefit of having the weatherization work completed.  A pre-repair energy audit is performed to provide a “before” rating of the home’s energy efficiency and to look for any moisture or health concerns in the home. Some of the typical repairs and services include caulking or foaming cracks and gaps that leak air, adding or replacing weather stripping, insulating pipes, patching and insulating duct work, wrapping water heaters in insulating blankets and repairing or adding insulation in crawl spaces or attics.  Once the work is complete, a final energy audit is be done to estimate the energy savings for the homeowner. Mississippi Power provides educational programs for the 60 homeowners participating in the project.

Habitat for Humanity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast was formed in January 2007 when Harrison County HFH and HFH of Jackson County merged organizations. Since then, HFHMGC has incorporated Stone County into its service area and has constructed or repaired more than 400 homes. HFHMGC works in partnership with community stakeholders to create innovative, sustainable housing solutions by empowering all members of the community to actively participate in creating “opportunity” for people to “transform” their own lives.

As one of the primary charities of the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic, HFHMGC was the Champions Tour’s Charity of the Year in 2010. Since the inception of the event in 2010, the tournament has donated nearly $300,000 to the Habitat for Humanity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast and in excess of a half-million dollars in cash and in-kind services to local charitable organizations along the MS Gulf Coast.

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