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An artist's rendition of the new Habitat for Humanity "Pleasant Creek Homes" project that broke ground Saturday, Oct. 27 alongside Interstate 680 in Walnut Creek.

WALNUT CREEK -- At Saturday's groundbreaking for the Habitat for Humanity Pleasant Creek Homes, District 3 County Supervisor Candace Andersen spoke Saturday about how meaningful this project was to her predecessor, Gayle Uilkema, who died in May. And Janice Jensen, Habitat East Bay's executive director, spoke of state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier's role in making Pleasant Creek Homes a reality.

The city of Walnut Creek pitched in $1.05 million. And there were many others who helped make it happen, either through financial gifts or by providing in-kind services.

The Dean and Margaret Lesher Community Foundation, a longtime habitat supporter, was among the major contributors to join Stall in support Habitat's effort to build the homes. Other major donors include the Gagae Family (in memory of Neil and Amelia McDaniel), the HEDCO Foundation, the Morris Family sponsorship, Valentine Capital Charitable Initiative and the Thomas J. Long Foundation.

Bob Frick and Len Holmes, both of Lafayette, raised $160,000 for the project by completing their 3,000-mile Cycle of Hope 2012 bike ride, and dozens of local faith communities that came together as All Faiths House to donate $100,000. Habitat for Humanity's longstanding All Women's Crew contributed $100,000 and will contribute their building skills to the project.

Architect Geoffrey Holton & Associates designed sustainable and energy efficient two-, three- and four-bedroom units on the sloping site adjacent to a freeway on-ramp sound wall. Green Point rated and included Energy Star appliances, and PG&E provided a $125,000 grant for solar panels.

Other partners and sponsors include the state of California Department of Housing and Community Development, U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development SHOP Program, Federal Home Loan Bank and MeriWest Credit Union.