By Dawn Wolfe Gutterman
ANN ARBOR – When last BTL spoke with Rainbow House Project organizer Nicole Appleberry, the project was in its infancy. Now, the organization has raised almost $20,000 and is looking to break ground this spring. LGBT community volunteers and Habitat for Humanity are hoping that an upcoming evening of love songs, Spring Gala, and raffle will help them raise the roof.
On Feb. 23, the Rainbow House Project and Habitat for Humanity will present, “Ein Liebesliederabend: An Evening of Love Songs,” featuring Anne Gross, Lorraine Yaros Sullivan, David Hoffman and Stephen Lancaster, among others. The singers and accompanying pianists will perform Johannes Brahms’ Liebeslieder-Walzer, Op. 52 as well as duets and part-songs by Felix Mendelssohn, Johannes Brahms, and Robert Schumann at Ann Arbor’s Kerrytown Concert House. On March 11, the organizations will host a Spring Gala with special guests including state Representative Chris Kolb and John Burchett, chief of staff to Governor Jennifer Granholm .
The Rainbow House Project’s raffle is another fundraising project. A $20 ticket offers a chance for donors to win a trip for two to Orlando, Florida, a Venice LX 49cc Motor Scooter, or other prizes.
Rainbow House is the second Habitat for Humanity house that is a joint project specifically between the LGBT community and Habitat.
Appleberry said that, in addition to helping a family in need own their own home, she became involved in creating the Rainbow House Project because, “The larger community doesn’t see us [LGBTs] as part of their community – they don’t think of us as equal members. We are, of course, and this is a very visible way of saying that.”
“You may know ten gay people but you don’t know that they’re gay, that they’re out in the community doing things,” she said. “So I think that everything we do to strengthen the larger community will come back to us as well.”
The Rainbow House Project will help people far beyond the family for which it’s being built. Not only will the mortgage payments made by the family moving in to Rainbow House help build another Habitat House, but “part of the funds go to a Habitat project in Poland that will ultimately lead to four new houses,” Appleberry said.