• Fri. Jun 24th, 2022

Building Connections: Detroit Lakes Home and Sport Show Connects Homeowners with Contractors – Detroit Lakes Tribune

ByLinda W. Smith

Mar 21, 2022

DETROIT LAKES—After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, Home and Sport returned to the Kent Freeman Arena in Detroit Lakes on March 19.

The event, organized by the Lake Region Builders Association, drew more than 80 vendors to town. The sellers showed their know-how to the participants of the event, which made it possible to create links and to launch some domestic projects.

Carmen McCullough, event organizer for the Home and Sport Show, said the return of the show was a great opportunity to showcase local builders, realtors, contractors and nonprofits in the area.

“It’s wonderful to be back, and I tell you what, the sun is out and we’re excited,” McCullough said. “Compared to a few years ago, there are a lot of new updated booth videos (by vendors), and a lot of sweets.”

The show provided everything a person would need to plan a renovation project from start to finish, she added, from local real estate agents to area banks and ending with a host of contractors and specialist builders. McCullough also said many vendors were hiring, so anyone looking for a job could make valuable contacts at the event.

El Karnwie-Tuah, Minnesota Housing, speaks to an attendee at the State Housing Programs event during the 34th Annual Home and Sports Fair at the Kent Freeman Arena in Detroit Lakes on March 19, 2022.

Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune

The show included a silent auction with dozens of items up for sale. Proceeds were donated to fund a construction scholarship program for area students.

Some sellers were nonprofits, like the Fuller Center for Housing, which is a Habitat for Humanity-style program that provides housing for area residents in need.

“We have a house project coming in the spring of 2022,” said Beth Pridday, an advocate with the Fuller Center for Housing. “We were lucky to have a house given to us.”

Pridday said the house is on platforms for the move and will need to be moved from its current location to a plot the nonprofit has purchased on Dean Street in Detroit Lakes.

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Beth Pridday of the Fuller Center for Housing speaks to attendees of their nonprofit’s labor event at the 34th Annual Home and Sports Fair at the Kent Freeman Arena in Detroit Lakes on March 19, 2022.

Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune

“We can actually finish the house, lay it down, do all the finishing touches, and then move a family in there before the end of 2022,” she said.

Applicants interested in applying for the housing program can do so online; a selection committee chooses a family based on need, and the chosen family then donates “sweat-equity” back to the organization.

Pridday said she loves events like the Home and Sport Show for nonprofits because they provide opportunities to connect with community members and really understand why their organization matters.

“We can tell our stories, we can explain that we were Habitat, which a lot of people know, and of course being at a builder’s show we can connect with so many people in the industry who can certainly help us. help with an affordable product, a given product, and maybe a little labor,” she said.

Briella Blattenbauer, left, 8, and her sister, Juliette, 6, handle mini succulents at the 34th Annual Home and Sport Show at the Kent Freeman Arena in Detroit Lakes on March 19, 2022.

Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune

Some area residents took the opportunity to meet with different contractors for potential home improvement projects they see on the horizon.

“We’re probably looking to get some granite countertops,” Detroit Lakes resident Joe Glass said. “And then we’re looking at invisible fences to keep the dog in our big yard.”

Glass said he and his wife might also consider finally putting a deck on their home, and added that they were impressed with the variety of builders and contractors at the show.

“We got there about half an hour ago, and we haven’t gone all the way around yet,” he said.

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