Summitt on persistence

Lady Vol coach praises Habitat, Women’s Build at fundraiser

Pat Summitt knows the value of persistence. The University of Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team coach told those gathered for a fund-raising lunch for Habitat for Humanity that Habitat clients could be good role models for the Lady Vols.

Summitt spoke at the 2009 Women’s Build fundraiser luncheon on Sept. 2 at the Airport Hilton.

“She compared her basketball team’s need for patience and persistence with Christina’s (Reagan) persistence and patience,” related Tish Hickman, who helped organize and promote the Women Build event.

Hickman said response to Summitt at the fundraiser was strong. “We earned about $13,400 to $13,500,” she said. “It was a great success.”

Workers are in the process of completing the foundation for the Habitat house, so volunteers with the Women’s Build can start building the walls on Sept. 26. Hickman said they hope to have the house finished by Christmas.

“We hope to be finished and have this family in the house by Christmas. The homeowner has three children.”

Women Build is Habitat’s volunteer program for women who want to learn construction skills and make a difference by building homes and communities. Women Build projects are regularly held by Habitat affiliates across the United States, and by Habitat organizations around the world. Women at these builds have furthered Habitat’s home-building mission by helping to construct more than 1,500 houses.

Hickman praised Summitt for speaking at the fundraiser. “Pat was gracious enough to come be our guest speaker. She and her team are going to try to come out and spend half a day helping with construction,” she said. “She said it’s important that women help women. She was pretty candid in her presentation.”

Hickman thanked the individuals who have committed their time and effort to help with the Women’s Build through Blount County Habitat for Humanity.

“It’s important to note that through Habitat for Humanity, we don’t just give people houses. People work for what they get. For me, I feel I’m helping people who are helping themselves. It is gratifying to see how hard Christina has worked for this; it makes me feel good when I can help her achieve her goal.”

Anyone interested in helping with the 2009 Women’s Build is asked to call Blount County Habitat for Humanity at 865-982-8717 to sign up for a shift. Wells Fargo, Lowes Home Improvement Warehouse and Wal-Mart are sponsoring the effort, Hickman said.

For more information, call Hickman at 865-388-1869 or email

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