Local Events


Clarence and Mary Poole and their 5 sons have a lot to celebrate. Their dream of homeownership was made complete this January when they made their final mortgage payment to Habitat. In a recent note from Mary she describes their experience as a “magnificent journey in working with the Habitat family” and gives thanks for the “past and present volunteers who have dedicated themselves in helping fulfill Millard Fuller’s dream of building very secure and affordable housing for us and others.”

The Poole journey with Habitat began in 1989 when Clarence and Mary, high school sweethearts and their five boys ages 6-15 were seeking a way out of a cramped three bedroom, one bathroom apartment in a neighborhood. “Drugs were very bad in the area, shootings went on frequently and people got beat up,” Mary Poole explained. The family was thrilled when they were accepted in the program. Mary remembers the hours they spent building their home with Habitat volunteers as they dug footers, nailed on roofing, landscaped and put down sod, and finally moved in their new home in February 1991.

Manatee Habitat for Humanity will be hosting a Mortgage Burning Celebration at the Poole family home at 1425 10th Ave E Bradenton, Fl, Saturday, February 19th at 11am. The public and press are welcome to join in this wonderful celebration of paying off a mortgage in 20 years! Jim Frame, Board President of Manatee County Habitat for Humanity explains, “We are delighted to see the dream of homeownership fulfilled from beginning to end with the Mortgage Burning.”

Life has been good for the Poole family. The boys are grown now and have begun families of their own and remain close to their parents. Clarence continues to work for the Manatee County government and Mary, completed her AA in Early Childhood Education and opened a licensed home day care in 2008. They thank Manatee County Habitat for providing a safe and secure home for their family to achieve their dreams.

To donate and support Manatee Habitat, visit their website at www.manateehabitat.org or call 941-748-9100 x 107.