A couple of weeks ago I went to an event called Mr. Habitat. It was a fundraiser for Habitat For Humanity, which I’ve known about for years, having met their Executive Director, Suzanne Williams, many years ago. The down and dirty of what they do is build or renovate homes and resell them to people at a reduced rate with interest free mortgages. They also have requirements of people to invest back into the homes to make sure they keep them up, and I like that requirement a lot.

Anyway, the event was held at the Oncenter in downtown Syracuse on a night where there was also a Syracuse Crunch hockey game and a concert at the Dome by someone called the Zac Brown Band (traffic was a killer) and it wasn’t anything like what I was expecting. It started off with a silent auction of lots of different types of things sitting out in the lower level of the complex. They also had what my mind defined as “weird” food sitting out, but eventually figured out was Greek fare, something I’m not the type to eat. But it wasn’t about me so I wasn’t overly upset about it.

In the auditorium area they had a stage and chair set up all around it for the second part, which was the Mr. Habitat live contest. The fund raising began weeks beforehand with a select number of men who had volunteered to try to raise money on their own. My friend Kelvin Ringold, who likes to be known as Mr. Positivity, was one of the contestant, and heading into the event was second in money raised, somewhere close to $1,000.

What came next was kind of a shock to me, and it was probably shocking to him as well. With Ted and Amy of 93Q working in concert with Kristin Earle, the Director of Resource Development for Syracuse Habitat for Humanity, the show involved lots of red flashing lights with a dim background as each man came out and tried to drum up interest in packages they’d put together hoping to raise even more money than they had previously. Some of the guys came out doing strip teases; one of those guys stripped into a suit and bow tie. lol Others danced and put on other routines, including a funny dance routine with Peter Hall of CNY Central coming out as Ron Burgundy of Anchorman; someone had to tell me that since I’ve never seen the movie.

It was a wild event that ran about 2 hours, and by my calculation they raised at least another $7,500 or so from that. I don’t know how much money was raised from the silent auction, but I do know it all went to a great cause, and it was a pretty fun night, even if there was little I’d eat, though they did set up an intriguing dessert bar where people could make their own smores. They’re still accepting donations online for the Habitat and thus I’m sharing Kelvin’s link, and if you’d like to learn more about Habitat for Humanity you can listen to an interview Kelvin did with Kristin on a blog post at his Intensely Positive site. A good time for a good cause.

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