B/CS Habitat for Humanity celebrated its 25th anniversary with a special ceremony in September. The event served as an opportunity to reflect on the last 25 years, the nearly 250 homes built, the wonderful families who live in them and the tremendous community support that has made it all possible.

DSC_0157Volunteers and donors were honored, along with Habitat homeowners who have paid off their mortgages. Highlighting the evening were presentations from the first and second Habitat homeowners in B/CS and a special address from Texas A&M Women’s Basketball Coach Gary Blair.

The evening kicked off and culminated with jazz music from the Greg Tivis Trio and hors d’oeuvres and dessert. The meet and greet and reception gave time for Habitat volunteers, donors, supporters and families to visit, reconnect and look at photos from the last 25 years.

Dr. L.A. Love, who up in a Habitat home in Bryan and graduated from Bryan High School before going to college and eventually earning a doctorate, emceed the event. He is now the Assistant Director for Athletic Academic and Support Services at Texas Tech University, but he flew in from Lubbock to be here for the occasion.

DSC_4405-editHis parents were one of 13 Habitat homeowners who were honored for paying off their mortgages. The homeowners were recognized on stage and given flowers to mark their incredible achievement.

Victor and Amelia Gonzalez, honored for paying off their mortgage, also made a special presentation. They were the first family to build a Habitat home in B/CS. Victor reminisced that he didn’t really know what they were getting into when they applied to build the first local Habitat house back in 1989. They were living in a dilapidated trailer with holes and no heat. Victor, who was struggling with the onset of diabetes at the time, remembers the water in their toilet freezing during a cold winter. But life improved for the young family when they moved into their Habitat home in 1990.

“That home has taught me a lot about responsibility,” Victor said. “We never missed a mortgage payment and I learned to set some money aside for a rainy day.” Victor and Amelia raised their five sons in the safety and DSC_9930stability of that house and joked that they had to replace a lot of broken windows because their boys liked baseball.

Victor then spoke about the role Jim Davis played in his family, not only as a member of Habitat, but as a spiritual mentor, who invited him to church and helped him grow spiritually. Victor presented Jim with a special award in recognition of his many years of service to Habitat and Habitat families, both as a volunteer and st