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Rodeo Creek Court Project Completion Celebration, Hart Family Home Dedication, and Ron Buswell Garden Inauguration - What a day!

Saturday, June 22 was a day of joyous celebration at Rodeo Creek Court (RCC), our eleven-home development in the Live Oak neighborhood of Santa Cruz. We celebrated the completion of the entire project, welcomed the Hart Family to their new home, and inaugurated the Ron Buswell Memorial Garden.

We broke ground at RCC in August 2020. After four years and 967 volunteers contributing 41,700 hours, the project is complete. We are immensely grateful to our many volunteers, businesses who donated labor and resources, and community partners who made it all possible. 

The RCC eleven homes are like no others because they are part of a deeply connected community, where the families know each other because they worked together to build each other’s homes; Eighteen children, one born just recently, who have grown up together playing in this huge playground; four teachers, two city workers, a chef, independent business owners, single parents, and two families who lost their rental homes in the 2020 CZU fires. As Satish Rishi, Habitat CEO, pointed out, “This community truly represents the diversity of Santa Cruz County.”

Brian, Veronica, and Santi Hart are the final family to move into RCC. They received their keys on Saturday from Senator John Laird, who was in attendance to welcome the family and to honor Habitat's 35 years of accomplishments. Also in attendance were Santa Cruz County Supervisor Manu Koenig and Santa Cruz City Councilmember Sonja Brunner. Supervisor Koenig said that he would use Rodeo Creek Court as a role model community for what affordable housing can be to naysayers of affordable housing. Congressman Jimmy Panetta also sent a representative to honor the work of Habitat who presented us with a commendation from his office. Additionally, over one hundred community members attended to celebrate. We were humbled by the outpouring of support and joint elation in the community we have built.

The event was heartwarming throughout, but no other moment brought tears to as many eyes as when we honored the late dear Ron Buswell and cut the ribbon on the Ron Buswell Memorial Garden. Marty Cavanaugh, former Board Chair, devoted volunteer, and close friend to Ron, spoke and helped us remember what an inspiration Ron truly was. Ron was a leader, taking on not only Board roles, including Chair, but also standing in as Interim CEO. Further, as a construction volunteer, he learned on the job and became a trusted member of the crew, while he mentored so many others. He will be forever in our hearts.

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