"Habitat Chic" The Design Challenge Begins

Habitat Chic Design Challenge Begins Friday!

Competition and Events to Benefit

Manatee County Habitat for Humanity

Bradenton (October 22, 2009) – The Habitat Chic Design Challenge begins!  On Friday, October 23, HGTV Design Star contestant Jason Champion and “Chic on the Cheap” author Mark Dalton will face a reality-TV type makeover challenge as they use items from Habitat’s ReStore and donated retail furnishings to completely decorate two Habitat homes as the clock ticks toward a quickly approaching deadline.  Each designer has visited with the soon-to-be homeowners to get to know them, their preferences, styles and needs. The designers will have 24 hours, 1,100 square feet of living space and a limited budget to make these two Habitat homes over with style.  Once the competition starts, an METVma film crew will be on hand to capture each designer’s work in reality television-type style to be broadcast at a preview party fundraising event and also on local cable television.

Designers Jason Champion, Mark Dalton and their interior design volunteer teams will be decorating the homes as follows (available for media interviews/photographs/filming):


Habitat Homes/            Cory Hill’s home (designer Jason Champion) – 2622 2nd Avenue, Palmetto 34221

Location:                     Keosha Newton’s home (designer Mark Dalton) – 2602 2nd Avenue, Palmetto 34221

(Manatee County Habitat for Humanity’s Washington Park Neighborhood)

Dates/Times:                Friday, October 23 from 11am – 4pm

Saturday, October 24 from 11am – 4pm

Sunday, October 25 from 1pm – 3pm

The special Habitat Chic Opening Night Premiere Party will be held on Saturday, November 14 at Manatee Habitat’s Washington Park Neighborhood from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. Tickets are $50 per person and will include hors d’oeuvres, drinks, music and mingling with the designers.  A reality television video of the Design Challenge will debut, followed by tours of the two Habitat homes with the designers and soon-to-be homeowners.

For three days following the challenge, there will be a special Washington Park Tour of Homes to showcase the finished homes to the public and benefit Manatee County Habitat for Humanity. The Tour will also have home‐related experts giving demonstrations each day. The Tour will be held November 15, 20 and 21, from 1:00 to 5:00 pm.  Tickets for the tour are $10 per person.

For more information or to RSVP for Habitat Chic’s Opening Night Premiere Party or for Tour of  Homes info, visit www.manateehabitat.org/habitatchic or call (941) 748-9100 ext 101.




Jason Champion is a full service designer, stylist, television personality, and writer with 15 years of experience in the design field. Jason has accrued several awards and accolades for his expertise. He has also been recognized in prestigious publications that include The New York Times, Washington Post, Elle Décor, and House Beautiful. During the summer of 2009 Jason showcased his talent on television as a contestant on HGTV’s popular series Design Star.

Mark Dalton is an interior designer who, after 21 years working the high end residential market, came up with a design concept that brings good design to everyone. Hailed as “Chic on the Cheap” in a Herald-Tribune feature, Mark published “Chic on the Cheap Ringling Park,” a how-to book on his concept. He writes a monthly column for Living Out East & On The Bay magazine and advances Chic on the Cheap’s mission of “crossing economic lines to bring beauty and comfort to all who desire it” at his firm Mark Dalton, Inc.


Cory Hill and his three daughters are looking forward to moving into their new home from their snug two bedroom apartment.  He stays busy working as a driver for the Habitat Restore and raising his three girls.   Cory has overcome a number of obstacles on his journey to homeownership and his wish to “give my girls the kind of life they deserve.”

Keosha Newton’s move into a Habitat home with her son and daughter will mean a new sense of security as they leave a transient neighborhood where gun shots are heard at night.  Keosha has her BA in education and while in the Habitat program was hired by Manatee County School Board for her first teaching position as a kindergarten teacher at Daughtry Elementary School.


Residents who would like to help Habitat’s mission can donate materials to the Habitat’s ReStore which will be sold to build more affordable houses. ReStore is a retail outlet that accepts new and used donated materials to resell to the general public – items like: windows, doors, lumber, floor tiles, dinette sets, chairs, beds, stoves, fridges, housewares, artwork, patio sets and more. The store is open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm Tuesday through Saturday, and offers free pickup for donations.


Manatee County Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit, ecumenical, Christian, volunteer-based organization dedicated to building homes in partnership with low-income families who need safe, decent, affordable housing.  The Manatee County Habitat for Humanity Affiliate was chartered in the summer of 1994, as a result of a friendly spin-off from the Manasota (Sarasota) Affiliate. Since then, Manatee County Habitat for Humanity has built 97 homes with the help of donors, families and volunteers.  Habitat for Humanity houses are sold to partner families for no profit and financed with affordable, interest-free loans that are financed by Habitat, http://www.manateehabitat.org/.

Thanks to our volunteers, Target, IKEA, Lowe’s, Upholstery Shoppe, Ace Hardware, Sherwin-Williams, Bright House

To schedule an interview with designers Jason Champion or Mark Dalton, please call (941) 748-9100, ext. 102 or email: rturner@manateehabitat.org