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‘Casa for a Cause’ distributes $145K to nonprofits


The Las Cruces Home Builders Association’s annual Casa for a Cause event distributed $145,000 to 26 local nonprofit organizations this year.
The project, formerly known as the Anniversary House and debuting in 2014, involves local home builders who construct a house, contributing discounted or volunteer labor, equipment, materials and land. Proceeds from the sale of the house are then distributed to a couple of dozen local nonprofits.
The first of these homes was built in 2014 by Hakes Brothers and different builders have taken their turns in the ensuing years, with a pause in 2020 and 2021, the first years of the Covid-19 pandemic. Over the years, the association says sales of the homes brought in $540,400 in funding for community nonprofits.
This year’s awards were announced at a March 21 banquet at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum gathering members of the LCHBA, sponsors and figures in the construction, lending and real estate industries.
The Las Cruces Bulletin was the presenting sponsor of the event, with publisher Belinda Mills helping distribute the ceremonial checks to each organization.
“I just absolutely love our industry,” LCHBA CEO Nicole Perez said during remarks that repeatedly emphasized the close connections among area home builders and friendly competition among them in building the houses that benefit local charities.
This year’s house, located on Bedford Avenue near the Red Hawk Golf Course, was built by French Brothers. As previously reported in the Bulletin, the house was designed using the builder’s Caballo floor plan, measuring 2,039 square feet with four bedrooms, two baths and a two-car garage. The home also features a view of the Organ Mountains.
French Brothers is a New Mexico building company opened in Las Cruces in 2015. The company’s sales and marketing director, Jason Kipker, told the Bulletin, “We want to be good stewards to the communities we’re part of. What better way to be able to do what we do and give back to the community?”
Last fall, Kipker said he hoped to see the house yield up to $140,000 to benefit community service organizations. Ultimately, the goal was exceeded, bringing the total to a record high since the program’s inception, Perez said during the banquet.
“This financial support will empower them to continue their essential work, touching countless lives and making a tangible impact in our community,” she said. “Our industry is often misunderstood and unfairly labeled. Yet I stand here to refute those misconceptions. … Every individual deserves a safe place to call home, and it is our industry that provides the foundation for these dreams to become a reality.”
Mayor Eric Enriquez paid tribute to the industry in his own remarks, saying, “When you see people in this community that have the opportunity to purchase a home, it gives a sense of pride, a sense of accomplishment; and you touch so many lives, from the labor force to every industry that’s involved in building homes.”
Kipker, as this year’s chair, said Casa for a Cause aligns with the values French Brothers was founded upon, citing the company’s purpose statement, “which is to build a great company that enriches the lives of our people, our customers and our communities. And I really felt that Casa for a Cause really kind of embodied that.”

The awards announced at the banquet were as follows:

• Mesilla Valley Hospice — $15,000
• LCHBA Education Foundation — $10,000
• Las Cruces Boys and Girls Club — $10,000
• Tutti Bambini — $7,500
• Turning Point of Las Cruces — $7,500
• NM Law Enforcement Torch Run
for Special Olympics — $7,500
• ACTion Programs for Animals — $7,500
• United Way of Southwest New Mexico — $5,000
• Toys for Tots of Doña Ana County — $5,000
• Organ Mountain Veterans Coffee Group — $5,000
• Loaves and Fishes — $5,000
• Morning Star’s Lighthouse — $5,000
• Mesilla Valley Habitat for Humanity — $5,000
• Jardin de los Niños — $5,000
• Honor Flight of Southern New Mexico — $5,000
• Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 8 — $5,000
• Children’s Theatre of the Mesilla Valley — $5,000
• El Caldito — $5,000
• Catholic Charities of Southern New Mexico — $5,000
• Casa de Peregrinos — $5,000
• The Cat’s Meow — $2,500
• Doña Ana County Humane Society — $2,500
• The Sophia — $2,500
• St. Andrew Hospitality House — $2,500
• Mesilla Valley Search and Rescue — $2,500
• Order of the Eastern Star — $2,500

The association also announced a new Aggie Builder Endowed Scholarship at New Mexico State University, to be awarded annually to a student pursuing a trade and enrolled at the university.

Casa for a Cause, Awards banquet, charity