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      Green home dedicated on St. Patrick's Day

      The 33rd home dedication for the Menominee River Habitat for Humanity couldn't have come on a luckier day.

      A family of five will move into a new home in Norway, making them first-time homeowners.

      It seems only fitting that Tony, Michele, Miranda, Brice and Tyler Olsen receive the dedication to their new, aptly colored green home on St. Patrick's Day. It's their pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and they couldn't feel any luckier.

      "It feels almost like it's not even a reality; it's almost like a fantasy," said Tony Olsen. "I've wanted a home for many, many years."

      But it hasn't been easy. Landing a Habitat for Humanity house isn't all about luck. The family was selected for meeting all the criteria of Habitat: they've logged countless man-hours to help build the house and were living in sub-standard conditions.

      "They'll move out of a rental that's had a broken window for the last four years," said Chapter Executive Director Nancy Tellegrini. "All the family members couldn't get into all areas of the house; it wasn't accessible, was very small and had lead paint on the walls."

      They've also demonstrated they're financially responsible, which is vital for the program's success.

      "We provide our families with a hand up, not a hand out," Tellegrini said. "Each of our families is required to pay a mortgage."

      Mortgage payments will go to Habitat for Humanity as part of their revolving loan system that makes it possible for the organization to fund more homes.

      That will pay off for many faces in the crowd at the dedication Saturday. Some will be also be receiving their own Habitat homes next door in the near future...five homes total in the neighborhood.

      "We were actually joking around that we're going to go to the city and try to name this 'Habitat Avenue,'' Olsen said.

      After the finishing touches are done, Habitat will sign the house over to the Olsens, and it will finally be their new home.