Wyeth presents $75,000 donation to local chapter of Habitat for Humanity

KEESEVILLE A $75,000 donation from Wyeth Pharmaceuticals will assist in continuing the work of Champlain Valley Habitat for Humanity. William Merrill, assistant managing director of the Rouses Point pharmaceutical manufacturing plant, presented a check to the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity International Monday afternoon. The donation, though presented at the site of the organizations current project house on Hill Street, will be used to build the next Habitat house in Clinton County. That house is planned to be built somewhere within the communities of Rouses Point, Champlain or Chazy. Merrill, who was joined by a handful of his fellow employees, stated the donations coordination had been a year in the making, calling it a great kept secret inside Wyeth and Habitat for Humanity. The news was two-fold, however, as Merrill stated Wyeth will further its commitment by having a team of volunteers at the ready when the time comes to build the new house. Wyeth is pleased to have this opportunity to partner with Habitat for Humanity to assist local families with affordable housing, said Merrill. Were really excited about the decision to have the next house up in the Rouses Point area. Thats going to enable us to have our employees show their effort and their skill. We really want to make it more than just a financial contribution, he added. Harriet Burrell, president of the Champlain Valley Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors, accepted the donation on behalf of the not-for-profit organization, stating support from organizations like Wyeth is critical. The need in Clinton County for decent, affordable housing is great, said Burrell. The statistics say one out of every seven people in Clinton County lives below the poverty level thats more than 11,000 people. The way fuel prices are going and the economy, that figure can only become worse. While the donation is the largest contribution the Champlain Valley chapter has seen in its nine-year existence, the donation will go much further than the North Country, Burrell noted. As with the chapters agreement with Habitat for Humanity International, 10 percent of donations are tithed to assist others. This donation, made by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, will not only help our fight against substandard housing in Clinton County, but even goes beyond that, said Burrell. This means that Wyeths generous gift is helping us build a house here in Clinton County, but at the same time, is building a house for a needy family elsewhere in the world. In order to build a future where more and more families get to experience the American dream of owning a decent, affordable home, we need the ongoing support of businesses and individuals, she added. Those interested in assisting Champlain Valley Habitat for Humanity or learning more about the organization may contact Burrell at 643-9778 or visit their Web site at www.cvhfh.com. The organization is also seeking those who have land available for donation or for sale at reduced price in the Rouses Point/Champlain/Chazy area. Once a parcel of land is identified, the organization will begin the process to identify a family in need who will take ownership of the next Habitat house.

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