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Habitat supporters dance the night away at the 2018 Hammers & High Heels at the Factory at Franklin./Photo by Sarah Bailey Photography

Featured Article

Join Habitat for Humanity Williamson-Maury for their 12th Annual Hammers & High Heels Gala

Article by Jennifer Bennhoff

Photography by Provided

Originally published in Franklin Lifestyle

Each year, Franklin-based Habitat for Humanity Williamson-Maury (HFHWM) builds 12–14 homes with local families. “Anyone with a stable income and a need for affordable housing is welcome to apply to buy a home,” says Kim Randell, the affiliate’s chief development officer. “Home ownership provides stability and independence, and we strive to build a future for generations of families.”

Future Habitat homeowners participate in a yearlong homebuyer education program. They purchase the home with an affordable mortgage and dedicate up to 280 hours of sweat equity into the build, working alongside volunteers to saw, hammer and paint, turning empty lots into inviting homesteads.

One future homeowner is Linda Lemus, mother to two school-aged children. One of nine siblings raised by a single mother, Linda moved from California to Spring Hill when she was 17 and works at Walgreens in the cosmetics department. She hopes that home ownership will allow her to host family gatherings and provide a way to start a California-inspired food business.

Linda’s home is HFHWM’s 2022 Women Build, with a goal to engage women to volunteer for 75% of the building process. “We don’t expect our volunteers to know how to work with tools,” says Randell. “We will train! Some volunteers use power tools, some paint, there is always something to do.” HFHWM sponsors one Women Build house each year and this year’s project will kick off in April.

On Friday, May13th, HFHWM is hosting its 12th Annual Hammers High Heels Gala, presented by Fluid Pay, to raise the funds needed to build Linda’s house.
“After two years of hosting virtual fundraisers, we are really excited to celebrate in person with our friends and family,” says Randell. “It’s also a great opportunity for a fun women’s night out.”

The event will take place in The Factory’s Liberty Hall, with catering provided by MAFIAoZA'S, Papa C Pies, Triple Crown Bakery, wines from Empire Distributing, and dancing with the high-energy party band, 'Burning Las Vegas.' Joni Cole, owner of local tavern O’ Be Joyful, has her mixologist creating two signature cocktails for the event, “The Hammer” and “The Heel,” featuring H. Clark Distillery’s Small-Batch Tennessee Bourbon. A silent auction emcee’d by Dawn Davenport, co-host of the 3HL radio show on 104.5 The Zone, will feature more than 200 items, including trips, unique memorabilia and merchandise from Franklin’s finest retailers. 

Habitat for Humanity is one of the world’s largest home builders, explains Jennee Galland, vice president and chief operating officer. “Each affiliate – about 1,200 worldwide - raises its own funds, and we act as the lender for the houses.”

Linda Lemus says that learning how to budget and manage home ownership has been challenging, yet rewarding, and she appreciates the opportunity to buy a home constructed by herself and HFHWM volunteers. “I am grateful and thankful for the time they are putting into my future.”

For information on how to become a gala sponsor, purchase tickets, donate, or bid on auction items, visit

To volunteer on the Women Build or other projects, visit 

  • Habitat supporters dance the night away at the 2018 Hammers & High Heels at the Factory at Franklin./Photo by Sarah Bailey Photography
  • Women Build volunteers take a break for a quick photo on the 2017 Women Build home./Photo by Jennee Galland
  • Signed Brad Paisley guitar from the 2016 Hammers & High Heels silent auction./Photo by Sarah Bailey Photography