Hagatna, Guam Citibank Guam and Habitat for Humanity (HFH) Guam further strengthened their partnership on February 6, when Habitat House #21 was officially opened at a dedication ceremony.
The four-bedroom home, built for the Gogo family, was primed and painted by a team of 23 Citi volunteers who contributed close to 150 hours of labor between October 31. through November 7, 2009.
At the ceremony, the Citi volunteers, led by Citigroup Country Officer / Business Manager Agustin Davalos and his senior management team, were invited by the HFH and the Gogo family to be the first guests in their new home.
Mr. Davalos also presented the certificate of ownership to the Gogo family at the dedication event, attended by more than 70 guests, including media, local government and business representatives.
In his short speech, Mr. Davalos said, "Every Habitat home is built by like-minded partners and with strong support from the Citi Foundation and employees serving as volunteers. We are delighted to be a valuable, strategic and long-standing partner with Habitat for Humanity Guam."
"This is truly a dream come true," said new homeowner Glenn Gogo.
"We have been renting for so many years, and now we have a place of our own! We will never forget that this house was built with the help of so many volunteers, and we will always be grateful to them and also Habitat for Humanity," said Mr. Gogo.
Mr. Gogo's wife Sue Ann added, "We would like to thank the Citibank volunteers for the time and effort they have put in. We're so happy and grateful for the Habitat program and the good work of the volunteers."
Mr. Davalos added, "Prior to coming to Guam, I had the privilege of participating in Habitat projects in other parts of the world and experience the synergy of the Citi and Habitat relationship.
"Here in Guam, Citi's partnership with Habitat in promoting community development and providing affordable housing reinforces our commitment to volunteerism, and I am proud of our Citibank Guam family. Each member sees everyday as an opportunity to serve others."
He concluded, "Congratulations to Habitat for Humanity of Guam for another successful project and allowing Citi the privilege of sharing our time and resources. We also wish Glenn and Sue Ann and their family more blessings. May you have many fond memories here for generations to come. Congratulations."
Shane Intihar, President of the Habitat Board, said, "What we do is create ownership. By creating homeowners, you create the building blocks for a better community. One of the great joys in participating in Habitat for Humanity is that all of your hard work and efforts are manifested in something such as this house."
The Citi Foundation enjoys a long association with Habitat for Humanity and to date, has donated more than $29 million to support Habitat projects in many parts of the world. This funding has supported the construction of more than 350 homes for more than 1,400 individuals.
The HFH program was launched in Guam in 1996, and the first house was built in 1998. To date, HFH Guam has constructed 21 homes, providing shelter for 91 people. In its efforts to strengthen the community, HFH Guam is looking to break new ground in April 2010 with the construction of Habitat House #22.
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