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Homes from the Heartland Katrina Rebuilding Project begins

Opening ceremony features New Orleans musicians

Some families in Louisiana will be closer to getting new homes, when volunteers get out their hammers for the opening day of the Homes from the Heartland Katrina Rebuilding Project on June 17. The event will be on the north side of the Liberty Memorial.

The activities begin at 10 a.m. with an opening ceremony that will feature New Orleans native musicians Loren Pickford and Micah Herman playing “Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans?”

Pickford, a saxophone player, and Herman, a bass player, are among the community of musicians who relocated to Kansas City after the hurricane. They are part of the Loren Pickford and Micah Herman Quartet and are former members of the New Orleans All-Stars.

The opening ceremony also will feature a ribbon cutting of the building materials and remarks by Mayor Pro Tem Alvin Brooks, City Manager Wayne A. Cauthen, and Yahna Gibson, the executive director of Habitat for Humanity Kansas City.

After the opening ceremony, volunteers from the City of Kansas City, Mo., will begin building one of 10 homes to be shipped to Hurricane Katrina victims in Louisiana.

In addition to watching the home construction, the community is invited to participate in Homes from the Heartland Family Fun Day activities, from 10:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. Family Fun Day will feature food vendors, five bands performing, a kids' corner with a castle moonwalk, giant slide, face painting, a balloon artist, and an art mural to paint.

The home building event continues through June 23. The nationwide Operation Home Delivery program enlists volunteers in cities across the country to pre-build housing components, package them in containers and ship them to the Gulf Coast to be permanently set up.

The City and Habitat for Humanity Kansas City also are sponsoring the Homes from the Heartland Gala on June 17 at the Westin Crown Center Hotel.

David Naster, nationally renowned comedian, is the master of ceremonies. The gala will begin at 6 p.m. with a silent auction and social hour. The McFadden Brothers will perform and the event will conclude with a dance. Tickets cost $125.

In addition to the partnership between the City of Kansas City, Mo., and Habitat for Humanity Kansas City, other sponsors of the project include American Century Investments, H&R Block, Missouri Housing Development Commission, National Association of the Remodeling Industry (Kansas City), NovaStar, Timberland Company in partnership with SkillsUSA, Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Foundation, Village Presbyterian Church and Second Presbyterian Church.

To make a reservation for the gala, visit For more information about Homes from the Heartland, visit

City News Releases - 2006

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