Silent Art Auction Kicks Off Fundraising for Crimson Build

Patty Vaughan

Fundraising for the Crimson Build is underway as dozens gathered at the silent art auction put on by a marketing class from the University and Habitat for Humanity.

The auction, which raised about $2,000, was the beginning of raising money toward the $65,000 it will take to build the Habitat for Humanity house.

The auction consisted of art, including knitting, pottery, painted shoes and paintings, one of which was an autographed Nick Saban portrait.

The project began when a team of marketing students went to Habitat for Humanity and asked if they could help in building a house.

One of the marketing students, Robin McDaniel, a graduate student said that they have been working with Habitat to plan this house.

“As a group, we decided we wanted to partner with Habitat,” McDaniel said. “We’re putting together a marketing plan for them as well as other things. Our main thing is the Crimson Build. In association with the University, we partnered with Habitat to build a new home for a local family.”

The house will take anywhere from 60 to 90 days to build. The team plans to start at the end of April or beginning of May. The finished product should be ready by early fall.

Carrie Henderson, the program director of Habitat for Humanity as well as a 2007 UA graduate, said that she was thrilled when the marketing students came to Habitat.

“It’s great when people take the initiative to approach us about sponsoring a build,” Henderson said. “We have different levels of sponsorship. We put our heads together as far as raising money, and that’s how we came up with the art auction.”

In building the house and working with the builder, Henderson said they are going to try to focus on a few things.

“We’re focusing on sustainability, energy efficiency and how to bring down the utility costs for the homeowner,” Henderson said.

The auction was more than just an attempt to raise money to get started on the build, McDaniel said.

“Obviously, our main concern is to raise money for the build, but more importantly, we’re trying to raise awareness for Habitat in general,” McDaniel said. “There’s not as much community involvement as we want right now, and we feel like the University has great potential to partner with.”

Currently, the team has some preliminary plans finished, and they have to get approved by the homeowners.

“As soon as that happens, we can move forward,” McDaniel said.

Along with money, the team is in need of volunteers to work on the house during the summer months. Both Henderson and McDaniel said if any students are staying in Tuscaloosa for the summer they are more than welcome to contact Habitat to sign up to volunteer.