by Katie Orlando



CORNELIUS – Single mother Mia Patterson and her two children will move into their own home after an eight-year wait, thanks to Our Towns Habitat For Humanity, the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce and local businesses.

The Business Build 2012 house in the Poole Place neighborhood of Cornelius is paid for and built by local volunteers and businesses.

Wells Fargo donated $50,000 in the fall of 2011, with $20,000 of that set aside as a matching challenge. The project was $3,741 short of the $71,500 it takes to build a Habitat House so another local business leader stepped in on May 17.



Kevin Mahl and Jamie Rolewicz of Champion Tire and Wheel and Hyde Park Storage Suites, both in Cornelius, filled the gap.

Mahl had been involved from the beginning, launching the business build last year.

“Because Wells Fargo came to the table, we were able to get the project together,” Mahl said. “We owed it to everybody involved to see this thing through.”

Wells Fargo Lake Norman market president Kevin Pote and his team will continue their contributions toward  the house at a June 2 workday as part of the company’s nationwide day of caring. Future homeowner Patterson is working along volunteers as well, putting in her own labor for her new home. Habitat homeowners put sweat equity, or time and labor, into building their own and other neighbors’ houses. Time spent investing in self-improvement also earns homeowners sweat equity toward their new homes.

Tammy Cox of Our Towns Habitat for Humanity said children younger than 16, who cannot volunteer on worksites, can contribute toward sweat equity to their family’s new home by doing well in school and giving back to their community.

Pote said Wells Fargo’s donation was a positive introduction to the community.

The home is another addition to the entirely Habitat-built Poole Place. It will be Energy Star 3.0 certified like all Habitat houses, Cox said.

“Utilities for our homeowners are always under $100 a month,” Cox said.