Helping families build for the future

Staff Writer
Lake Sun Leader
Monsignor Marion Makarewiez, pastor of Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church, provided a blessing of the house for a family who became new homeowners thanks to Habitat for Humanity.

The Gopar-Ortiz family has plenty to be thankful for this year. The family officially became homeowners just in time to celebrate the holidays in their first home. The family is the latest partner with Lake of the Ozarks Habitat for Humanity. They took possession of their new home they helped build last weekend in Camdenton.

LOTO Habitat board president Nancy Rogers, and board member and constriction chair Steve Fuhrer, led the ceremony. Fuhrer presented the house keys to Gopar-Ortiz and family for their new home. The occasion marked the 21st home built by the organization.

On hand for the celebration were board members, employees, volunteers and others who helped make the dream of home ownership a reality for the family.

Monsignor Marion Makarewiez, pastor of Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Lake Ozark, provided the house blessing for the Gopar-Ortiz family.    

Among traditional housewarming presents, Habitat board member Charli Allee presented the family with an American flag. The Ozark Hills Quilt Guild gifted the family with two personalized handmade quilts.

Since 1999, Lake of the Ozarks Habitat for Humanity, which serves Camden County, has helped a total of 90 persons, including 59 children, move on from their inadequate housing situations and create a path to owning their own homes.

Habitat offers a hand up, not a handout, as they partner with selected families who combine their own sweat equity along with a small down payment to buy their homes. LOTO Habitat offers their partner families an interest free mortgage.  

LOTO Habitat for Humanity will be hosting seminars in the spring of 2021 to identify and select future homeowner partner families. Locations and times will be announced. Anyone interested in learning about the Habitat program is welcome to attend one of the informational seminars. Families who wish to apply must attend one of the seminars to learn how the program works and to pick up an application for home ownership.

To learn more about the Habitat program at the Lake, or how to help Habitat either as a volunteer in home construction or helper at Habitat's Restore in Camdenton that re-sells gently-used home furnishings and construction supplies, visit LOTO Habitat's website at