Habitat for Humanity fundraiser helps break in new facility



Guest comedian Anita Renfroe had the whole crowd at the Habitat for Humanity luncheon laughing when she had Mayor Keith Brady and homeowner Brienna Atkinson help her rap “In Tha Muthahood.” From left, Brady, Atkinson and Renfroe. 

Supporters gathered Thursday at the newly-completed Newnan Centre for a fundraising luncheon contributing to the efforts of Newnan-Coweta Habitat for Humanity.

Around 200 members of the Coweta community visited the Newnan Centre’s McIntosh Ballroom at 11:30 a.m. for the luncheon — the first official public event for the city of Newnan’s new meeting facility adjacent to the Centre for Performing and Visual Arts on Lower Fayetteville Road.

Lunch was provided by sponsors in the community, guests could participate in silent and live auctions, and guest comedian Anita Renfroe provided the entertainment for the fundraiser. All donations, auction money and luncheon profits went to the local Habitat for Humanity chapter.

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization devoted to building homes for people and families in need. Houses are built primarily by volunteers and are sold to families at no profit and financed by loans the families can easily afford to pay off. Families assisted by Habitat often serve as volunteers to build their own homes or help in other Habitat projects. 

All home payments are converted to fund more Habitat home-building projects.

“[Habitat for Humanity] believes in providing a hand, not a hand out,” Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Leslie Merriman said. 

Merriman spoke at the luncheon about how the Habitat for Humanity is continuing to grow and help more families in the community. She said that they are now serving more families by not only building homes from the ground up, but by rehabilitating and renovating homes as well. 

“Habitat is only a piece of the puzzle when it comes to building communities,” Merriman said.

Homeowner Brianna Atkinson, who was recently helped by the Newnan-Coweta Habitat for Humanity, also spoke at the luncheon and expressed her gratitude for Habitat’s help. Atkinson spoke on how her life has improved since being able to have her own home, how her 7-year-old twin boys are happier, and that she has now been able to pursue her master’s degree.

A short auction followed, and the guests were able to bid on two items, a jeweled ring, which sold for $350, and a golf cart donated by Yamaha, which sold for $4,400. A silent auction also helped raise money for Habitat for Humanity.

After guests finished their meals, Christian comedian Anita Renfroe took the stage. Renfroe sang (and rapped) songs about being a mother, poked fun at Coweta County and some of the guests at the luncheon, joked about fleeting youth and being an aging woman, told stories about being the wife of a preacher and more.

Renfroe pointed out some funny things about Coweta: how many annoying traffic circles are in this county that Southerners typically don’t understand, how uppity it sounds when we name a building the Newnan Centre, and why in the world Newnan is called the city of homes — she then turned to Mayor Keith Brady and said that must be because he is also a Realtor. Renfroe also called Mayor Brady and Atkinson to the stage to help her rap her song, “In Tha Muthahood,” and everyone in the ballroom was thoroughly entertained.

The Newnan-Coweta Habitat for Humanity is always happily accepting donations and volunteers. The organization’s ReStore, selling gently used and donated home building materials, decor and equipment, is located on 150 Pine Road, and acts as the primary fundraiser for Habitat’s ongoing projects.

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