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Building connections: Detroit Lakes Home and Sport show links homeowners with contractors

Potential renovators, building contractors and various nonprofits came together at the Kent Freeman Arena in Detroit Lakes on Saturday, March 19 for the 2022 Home and Sport Show, hosted by the Lakes Region Builders Association.

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Al Clark, of Al Clark Construction in Detroit Lakes, speaks to an attendee during the 34th Annual Home and Sport Show at the Kent Freeman Arena in Detroit Lakes on March 19, 2022.
Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune
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DETROIT LAKES—After a pandemic-related two-year hiatus, the Home and Sport show returned to Kent Freeman Arena in Detroit Lakes on March 19.

The event, hosted by the Lake Region Builders Association, brought more than 80 vendors to town. The vendors displayed their craftsmanship to event attendees, which led to connections being formed and some home projects getting started.

Carmen McCullough, event organizer for the Home and Sport Show, said the show's return was a great opportunity to showcase local builders, realtors, contractors and nonprofits in the area.

"It's wonderful to be back, and I tell you what, the sun is out and we're excited," said McCullough. "Compared to a few years ago, there's a lot of new booth video that (vendors) updated, and a lot of candy."

The show provided everything a person would need to plan out a remodeling project from start to finish, she added, from local realtors to area banks and ending with a slew of specialized contractors and builders. McCullough also said many of the vendors were hiring, so anyone seeking employment could make valuable contacts at the event.

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El Karnwie-Tuah, Minnesota Housing, speaks to an event attendee about state housing programs during the 34th Annual Home and Sport Show at the Kent Freeman Arena in Detroit Lakes on March 19, 2022.
Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune

The show included a silent auction with dozens of items up for bid. Proceeds were donated to fund a building trade scholarship program for area students.

Some vendors were nonprofit organizations, like the Fuller Center for Housing, which is a Habitat for Humanity-style program that provides homes to area residents in need.

"We have a home project that's coming spring 2022," said Beth Pridday, a Fuller Center for Housing advocate. "We were fortunate enough to have a home donated to us."

Pridday said the home is on platforms for the move, and will have to be moved from its current location to a parcel the nonprofit purchased on Dean Street in Detroit Lakes.

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Beth Pridday, of The Fuller Center for Housing, speaks to event attendees about the work of their non-profit organization during the 34th Annual Home and Sport Show at the Kent Freeman Arena in Detroit Lakes on March 19, 2022.
Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune

"We'll actually be able to finish off the home, set it down, do all the finishing things, and then get a family in there before the end of 2022," she said.

Applicants interested in applying for the housing program can do so online; a selection committee picks a family based on need, and the chosen family then gives "sweat-equity" back to the organization.

Pridday said she loves events like the Home and Sport Show for nonprofits, because they offer chances to connect with community members and really delve into why their organization is important.

"We can tell our stories, we can explain that we were Habitat, which a lot of people are familiar with, and then of course being at a builder show we can connect with so many people in the industry that can certainly help us with affordable product, donated product and maybe some labor," she said.

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Briella Blattenbauer, left, 8, and her sister, Juliette, 6, handle mini-succulent plants during the 34th Annual Home and Sport Show at the Kent Freeman Arena in Detroit Lakes on March 19, 2022.
Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune

Some area residents used the opportunity to meet different contractors for potential home renovating projects they see on their horizon.

"We're probably looking at getting granite countertops," said Joe Glass, a Detroit Lakes resident. "And then we're looking at invisible fencing to keep the dog in our big yard."

Glass said he and his wife may also be looking to finally put a deck on their house, and added that they were impressed with the variety of builders and contractors at the show.

"We got here about a half-hour ago, and we haven't made it all the way around yet," he said.

Multimedia News Lead Reporter
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