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AZ Sports Stars, Valley Businesses and Community Members Raise $270,000 During Virtual Event for Habitat for Humanity
By Lisa Padilla - Thursday Aug 27, 2020
Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona, Stearns Bank, Cullum Homes and hundreds of others joined host Carey Pena, and special guests Larry Fitzgerald and Hall of Famer Kurt Warner for a virtual fundraising night that raised $270,000 for the organization in late June.

Guests enjoyed inspirational messages form Fitzgerald and Warner, while also hearing the stories of families impacted by the generosity of Habitat for Humanity.

“Thanks to everyone who joined us that evening we raised just over $270,000 against a goal of $220,000 to support our Aging in Place program,” said Liz Pabst‑Wanless, director of Central Development for Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona. “We have a waiting list of Arizona seniors needing help with their homes to improve safety and provide mobility improvements, as well as weatherization enhancements and we are now able to say 'yes' to more families who need our help."

Habitat’s CEO called the virtual fundraising event a tremendous success.

“To everyone who pitched in, chipped in, contributed, watched online, bid, donated, told their friends, clicked, shared, sponsored and supported our first ever virtual fundraiser, we say a hearty and heart-felt THANK YOU! Through the generous efforts of this amazing community, we were able to meet our goal and will be able to serve even more Arizona seniors in need of affordable home repairs,” said Jason Barlow, president and CEO of Habitat. “Much love and thanks again to you all!”

More than 1,200 people tuned-in that night to watch the show and make donations. Title Sponsor Sterns Bank said the virtual event is another example of how Habitat for Humanity finds creative ways to solve today’s challenges.

“A strong community is built on a strong and stable home," said Tom Hosier, VP and Arizona Market Manager for Stearns Bank N.A. "Stearns Bank is passionate about helping others achieve their greatest ambition and we're proud to continue our partnership with Habitat for Humanity to make homes accessible for everyone."

In addition to Stearns Bank, Habitat for Humanity also thanked its Investment Partners, Cullum Homes and American Homes 4 Rent without whom this event would not be possible.

“Financial contributions have been at an all-time low for many Valley charities following the pandemic and like home building we had to think outside of the box this year when it came to the planning the event and getting people to tune-in and contribute like never before,” said Lindsay Cullum-Colwell, event co-chair and managing principal of Cullum Homes.

As part of the event, online attendees had an opportunity to bid on dozens of one-of-a-kind auction items, and see first-hand how Habitat for Humanity is making a difference in the community through its Aging In Place program. Habitat’s Aging in Place services are designed for local residents, age 65 or older, to help them age safely in their homes. The program focuses on making safety improvements, mobility modifications and weatherization enhancements.

“We couldn’t be prouder to have surpassed our goal and now more than ever, the importance of a home is realized as Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona continues to make home ownership a reality for so many in the Valley,” said Paul Colwell, co-chair and managing director of Cullum Homes.

For more information about the event or to make a donation please contact

About Stearns Bank

Minnesota-based Stearns Bank National Association is a $2.2 billion, independently-owned financial institution with locations in Minnesota, Florida and Arizona, and over 35,000 small business customers nationwide, in every U.S. state. Recognized as one of the nation’s top-performing banks by both American Banker and Independent Banker magazines, Stearns Bank specializes in small business lending and equipment financing. Driven by a passion to help others achieve their greatest ambitions, Stearns Bank gets the job done! For more information, visit

About Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona

Named one of Arizona’s Top Companies, Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona (Habitat) is a local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, the renowned humanitarian organization based in Atlanta. Each affiliate operates as a separate 501c3 nonprofit and is responsible for leading its own fundraising and operations management, while adhering to the Habitat for Humanity mission of serving communities within its area.

This year, Habitat celebrates 35 years of building homes, communities and hope in the Valley of the Sun - A concept centered on those in need of adequate shelter working side by side with volunteers to build decent, affordable homes. Through this model of community building and reinvestment, with the help of generous donors and volunteers, Habitat has been privileged to build more than 1,150 homes, affect more than 2,500 repairs and improve the shelter situation for more than 3,500 Arizona families. To learn more, please visit or find us on Twitter @habitatcaz.

By Jennifer Parks-Sturgeon