Updated: Feb 15, 2019
By: Pete Cleveland
Rhapsody of Rabun is pleased to announce that its recipient for 2019 is Habitat for Humanity® of Rabun County. This choice is especially exciting as this is Habitat’s 30th anniversary in Rabun County and Habitat was the very first recipient of Rhapsody in Rabun in 1991. More than a coincidence! The gala event celebrating this partnership will be held on August 10, 2019 at the Rabun County Civic Center. Mark your calendar!
A little about Rhapsody in Rabun
In 1990 local business owner, Billy Johnson dreamed of starting an organization that would help the people of Rabun County. He shared his idea with Andy Anderson, President of Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School and Mary Ann Rich, a realtor and accountant. Through their enthusiasm, others local residents--Sally Broaddrick, a nurse, Gay Houser, and Virginia Godfrey, --joined the planning. The result was ‘Rhapsody in Rabun,’ an organization that would partner with a local non-profit group that was in need of financial help. This loosely structured organization of willing volunteers embarked on a journey to serve Rabun County.
In 1991, Rhapsody in Rabun chose their first recipient, Habitat for Humanity®. In order to build a house, Habitat for Humanity® needed to raise $10,000. Though organizers were nervous about raising that sum, with great preparation and many volunteers, Rhapsody in Rabun not only raised the necessary funds, but also received much deserved attention. In subsequent years, the organization began to formalize. Rhapsody turned to well-known artist Mary George Poss to have a logo created.
A mission statement was developed: “Rabun Rhapsody is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to raise funds for distribution to charitable organizations in Rabun County, Georgia. The funds are raised through an annual event known as “Rhapsody in Rabun”.”
Rhapsody in Rabun Success
Since the first event in 1991, when $10,000 seemed unattainable, Rhapsody in Rabun has raised an astounding total of $1,315,215.20 for Rabun County charities. Thank you, Billy, Andy, Mary Ann and all the volunteers who have worked on Rhapsody for those 28 gala events. Remember, mark your calendars for this year’s Black-Tie affair on August 10.
This year’s recipient of the funds raised by Rhapsody in Rabun, Rabun Habitat serves to select and support homeowners, organize volunteers and coordinate home building for eligible families who are selected by Habitat’s Board each year.
Since 1989 Habitat has partnered with a broad coalition of individuals, churches and businesses to build 34 homes for deserving families. In addition to signing and committing to paying back a no-interest mortgage, each homeowner must take a course in Home Ownership and provide a required amount of sweat-equity during the construction of their home. In this way, the homeowners become invested in their home and their community.
Habitat’s goal has been to build one new house a year. They accomplish this with funds generated by the payments to mortgages by recipient families, by funds raised from the ReStore, by private donations, by donations of equipment and appliances from local businesses, and from an annual fundraising event.
In addition, during the construction phase, Habitat volunteers assist in the building of the house. They perform tasks such as framing, installing roof trusses, siding, appliances, caulking, painting, etc. Typically, the volunteers work two mornings a week amid organized chaos, laughter, good donuts, friendship and plenty of hard work.
Don't Miss this Premiere Event!
Rhapsody in Rabun is an annual event held at the Rabun County Civic Center. Imagine a balmy summer evening with energizing live music for dancing and listening, an unmatched selection of tantalizing food provided by many local restaurants, the premier silent auction of the region with carefully selected objects provided by local artists and shops – imagine outbidding your friends and taking home that beautiful, one-of-a-kind piece of local art or a gift certificate to your favorite local shop or restaurant– a fun and raucous live auction where the competition is half of the fun as you bid on unique experiences provided by local residences and businesses. Imagine leaving this event uplifted from the camaraderie and friendship you have experienced and, most importantly, from the fact that you have made a difference for Rabun County by:
Building the Future, One Family At a Time