Habitat for Humanity breaks ground on Lee Cobourn Memorial Home

Published 12:16 pm Tuesday, October 3, 2023

New build memorializes longtime volunteer and board member


LANDRUM—On Friday, September 29, Thermal Belt Habitat for Humanity held the Lee Cobourn Memorial Home groundbreaking. The Habitat home is being constructed at 410 N. Trade St. in Landrum in memory of Lee Cobourn, a longtime Habitat for Humanity volunteer and board member who passed away last year. 

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The funds needed to pay for the foundation were left to the nonprofit by Couburn in his will, and the roof of the project is being sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Tryon.

The groundbreaking ceremony was one of the first steps in the life of this Habitat Home, and was held in partnership with the Kiwanis Club. The event was attended by those close to Lee, including his wife, Jeaneen Cobourn, who watched the proceedings from the front row. 

Attendees also included Mayor Bob Briggs, Girl Scouts Troop 13161 led by Jamie Weathers and representatives of Kiwanis, who all took turns signing and writing blessings and prayers on some of the boards that will go into the building of the house. They were also treated to snacks prepared by the Habitat team, highlighted by a basket of Lee’s favorite work site snack, peanut butter and onion sandwiches, which were available to those brave enough to try one. 

Girl Scout Troop 13161, led by Troop Leader Jamie Weathers, presents Jeaneen Cobourn a poster they made commemorating her late husband’s work with the local troop. (Photo by Storme Smith)

Thermal Belt Habitat for Humanity President Linda Saturno opened the ceremony, pointing out the importance of volunteering.

“Kids who grow up in Habitat homes are much more likely to volunteer in the future, they see the value in volunteering,” Saturno said. 

Thermal Belt Habitat Chairman Jim White stressed the importance of skilled volunteers like Lee, who was a civil engineer by trade. Cobourn helped both as builder and board member to provide safe, well-built, affordable homes for our neighbors. 

Attendees were also given information on Thermal Belt Habitat’s many programs, including their home repair program for low-income homeowners, and learned that applications are open for the Habitat homes being built in Columbus and Landrum. 

Thermal Belt Habitat for Humanity builds affordable homes to address the housing crisis in Polk County and Landrum. For more information about supporting this home build, applying for a Habitat home, volunteering or donating gently used items to the Habitat ReStore operation, visit thermalbelthabitat.org.

Landrum Mayor Bob Briggs enjoys a peanut butter and onion sandwich, one of Lee Cobourn’s favorite work site snacks. (Photo by Storme Smith)