With a half-finished dream home in the background, custom home builder Brett Handler and Susan G. Komen South Florida administrators celebrated their charity partnership with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Old Palm Golf Club Thursday afternoon.
Handler, founder of Palm Beach Gardens-based Dreamstar Custom Homes, created the nonprofit organization Build for the Cure three years ago in an effort to raise money for breast cancer awareness and research.
The organization builds custom homes — one has been completed so far, with the Old Palm home scheduled to be finished in November — to support Susan G. Komen for the Cure South Florida.
Money generated from the construction of the homes helps fund community breast cancer education, screening and treatment programs and provides social support.
“We have a huge support network in Palm Beach Gardens and North Palm Beach,” said Dayve Gabbard, executive director of Susan G. Komen for the Cure South Florida. “We really rely on them. They’re an integral part of our volunteer, leadership and donor support network. Having Dreamstar Custom Homes’ support is huge.”
Build for the Cure has a unique way of raising money for the charity.
Handler engages the local building community by soliciting contractors and vendors to discount services during the construction of the home, with the difference allocated to fundraising efforts.
“The money comes from contractors and suppliers who reduced their bids,” said Handler, a Palm Beach Gardens resident whose company builds homes mainly in northern Palm Beach County. “The plumbing supplies are all donated, the dirt guy brings us a bunch of dirt for free. People have donated their time, their supplies and their labor. Whatever they bring us that we don’t pay for, we give to the charity.”
The first Build for the Cure home was built in 2010 for William and Lisa Byrnes at Ibis Golf and Country Club in West Palm Beach. Construction on that home raised $45,000 for breast health programs.
Handler hopes to reach the $50,000 mark with construction on the Old Palm home, which will be built for Michael and Teri Borgia of Long Island.
The 2013 Build for the Cure home at Old Palm will feature five bedrooms, a library and six full and two half-baths when complete. The 9,700-square-foot-home is located along the 16th fairway of the Old Palm Golf Club.