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It's Raining Men at Syracuse Habitat

On Oct. 24, the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel and Conference Center will host Mr. Habitat, Syracuse Habitat for Humanity's signature fundraising event.

Men of all ages and professions, from the silver-haired to the shy recent graduates, will help raise money for Women Build, a Syracuse Habitat for Humanity program that provides local women with the opportunity to plan and build a house. The event is free and open to the public, includes a live and silent auction and runs from 4 to 7 p.m.

Syracuse Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Suzanne Williams said the event is meant to be entertaining as well as supportive of the organization's overall mission.

"This premier event allows people to come together, have a great time, and raise the money to build a home with a family in need," Williams said.

The contestants at Mr. Habitat do offer more than just eye candy -- they auction their skills and services to the audience. In recent years, these have included home maintenance work (painting a room or mending a garden), cooking an elegant dinner, and even martial arts lessons.

Various local businesses and individuals also offer a variety of goods to auction at the event. In the past, salons, restaurants and wineries have donated vouchers or gift baskets. Businesses and individual donors have offered hand-made furniture, antiques or baked goods.

Syracuse Habitat, likewise, will be offering goodies to participants and attendees. In fact, the first 200 people to show up at the event will receive prize packs.

Syracuse Habitat Resource Development Director Kristin Earle said the timing of the event would coincide perfectly with the start of the holiday season.

"You can get in shopping early and save some money," she explained. "It's an elegant affair that incorporates for all while helping a great cause."

To be a walker, you must be willing to "strut your stuff" on the walkway and donate a service or product worth $200 or more; "Mr. Habitat 2010" will receive VIP treatment for one year, including sporting event tickets, clothing, gift cards and more.

To walk, donate goods or for more information, call Kristin Earle at 422-2230.

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