Marriott recruits staff, guests for build-a-thon

‘ELE‘ELE — If Liz Woods was at the beach, sun would be good. But at the Saturday build-a-thon coordinated by Kaua‘i’s Marriott properties, Woods sought out the shade on the leeward side of the house she and her mom, Chris, were working on.

The Woods family were just a few of the 30 or so volunteers working to build a home at the site of Habitat for Humanity’s ‘Ele‘ele Iluna project.

Earlier this year the Marriott sponsored one of the houses with a $60,000 contribution; it also promised to send workers to help with the construction.

Keeping its word, Marriott staff — and a few guests — arrived yesterday ready to work on the home, which will go to Kaua‘i resident Val Melle.

Phillip Woods from Colorado said helping with the build-a-thon would be a nice gesture.

“We saw the sign in the lobby and thought this was just a nice way to spend one day of our vacation,” he said.

Kauai Marriott General Manager Bill Countryman was also part of the painting crew — with help from guest Marvin Lindmark and his wife, Gayle.

“You’re going to have to have a motion camera if you want photos of us,” Lindmark said as he steadied a tray of paint for Countryman atop a scaffolding.

“There have been just too many things to do,” said Chuck Brady, Kauai Marriott human resources director. “I have to go help put on a roof now.”

According to the county, Kaua‘i Habitat for Humanity’s ‘Ele‘ele Iluna project will have a total of 125 homes once completed. To date, 11 self-help homes have been finished and five are currently under construction.

It’s been a busy week for affordable housing, as the Self-Help Housing Corp. of Hawai‘i broke ground on Phase 2 of the Puhi Self-Help project Thursday. For more on that story, see page C1.

For more information on Kaua‘i Habitat for Humanity, visit www.kauaihabitat.org

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