building hope around the world

My husband is a builder and an Ambassador for Habitat for Humanity of Eagle and Lake Counties. Every year Habitat for Humanity hosts a Carpenter’s Ball in celebration of their mission of bringing people together to build homes communities and hope. It’s their signature fundraising event, and after attending 3 prior Ball’s, this year was my absolute favorite. They mixed things up from their standard cocktails/silent auction and ceremony/sit-down dinner…and it was a fabulous time!

This year’s annual ball, “Building Hope Around the World,” brought people together in a festive way – each guests received a Passport to experience food and drink from regions around the globe where Habitat is making a difference offering housing solutions. Here’s why I think this international wine and food tasting worked and was a success:

It allowed everyone to mingle and not be stuck at one table.

Guests really learned about Habitat and the places they make a difference around the world, not just by reading it in a program or hearing it from the President of Habitat during a speech in a ballroom, but by ‘visiting’ stations inspired by the locations, along with interesting facts about the specific location.

We were able to try all kinds of new and delicious foods inspired by cultures from around the world, along with paired beverages. The talented Chef Richard Hinojosa of Larkspur Restaurant designed six, three course tasting menus paired with great wine and other beverages. From Braised Fennel Citrus Sea Scallops to Little Larkburgers at the USA station. Shrimp Pad Thai to Steamed Pork Bao in Asia & Pacific. Crème Fraiche Pierogi {my personal fave} and a Hungarian Risotto with Spring Pea Pancetta created the European flavors with Veuve Clicquot to compliment the cuisine at that station.

Opportunity to bid on unique auction items.

Great, live music.

Being a DIYer, I was impressed with the construction-themed DIY details Elyse Howard, Development Director at Habitat Humanity, and her team executed beautifully. Some of my fave DIYs were the nuts and bolts in mason and hob nail jars, real ladders that we use at the job site and wood for auction shelving, burlap runners and habitat hard hats with mints and labeled lotion and soap in the bathrooms. They also used biodegradable bamboo “vessels” for the food which you can find here.

Lighting, which I’ve come to believe really sets the tone for a party, was warm with amber up lighting around the room, and custom gobos added a personalized touch. And a wow factor was the exposed lightbulb chandelier, which exuded an elegant work site feeling.

Can’t wait for next years party, Elyse. Thanks for sharing this year’s photos with us.

{this was my favorite display – food and wine lined up along wood planks {anchored at each end with different sized wood blocks} at different heights to appear ‘stepped.’}

Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope.  Habitat builds simple, decent, affordable homes in partnership with local families in need.  Founded in 1995, Habitat for Humanity of Eagle and Lake Counties has served 42 families to date housing over 120 children. To learn more about Habitat, or how to become involved, visit


Photography: Joe Kania from Axel Media Solutions
Annual Event Operations/Production and Planning
: Highline Sports & Entertainment {special thanks for Katie at Highline for her help in planning and DIY projects}
Decor: Pink Monkey Solutions {chandelier, gobo light, lounge areas, burlap pipe and drape, burlap runners, hob nail and mason jar centerpieces, food station decor and overall look and feel}
Venue and Food: Larkspur Restaurant
Photo Booth: Patrick at Go Photo Booth
Invitation: Bahan Design
Entertainment:  My Brother’s Keeper Band
Alcohol: Veuve Clicquot, Grand Marnier, Milbrant Vinyards, Crazy Mountain Brewery
Auction tablet software/smart phone bidding: AES  Solutions

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