Habitat for Humanity has been helping a local family achieve their dream of being homeowners, and last week, the keys were ready to turn over to the happy new owner. Habitat for Humanity regularly holds dedications to welcome the new families to their new homes, and the one for the Mack family of Van Alstyne was held on Saturday, Oct. 28.

A yellow house, sitting on a small lot in on Tolson Street was built with Brandie Mack and her four boys in mind. On Saturday morning, the house — formatted to fit a family of five — was full to the brim.

The house dedication attracted so many people that it was overflowing from inside the house to the porch and yard. Along with Mack’s family who showed up to join in the celebration for her, volunteers and local community members attended, totaling to over 75 people.

The ceremony started off with a prayer, a musical number and a quick word from Laurie Mealy, the executive director of the Grayson County Habitat for Humanity.

“Some families are required to put in 250 hours of sweat equity,” Mealy said while handing a certificate of completion to Mack. “However, Brandi put in over 340 hours.”

Mayor Pro Tem Teddie Ann Salmon spoke about how she welcomed the family, even though Mack’s roots were already in Van Alstyne. “When I look at this family, I don’t think ‘the Mack family’, I think of another generation of the Murphy family.”

After wiping a tear from her eye, and collecting herself, Mack said she was tocuhed by all the people who showed up. “I am so blessed for all the help in getting everything done,” Mack said as she named the many organizations and volunteers who assisted. “If I left your name out, please forgive me, I am so overwhelmed. Blame it on my head and not on my heart.”

Once Mack finished addressing the congregation of people, it was time to award the Mack family the keys to the new house. United Way Board of Directors Rita Noel presented Mack with the shiny new keys to her house, along with a Bible.

The celebration was closed with a prayer from Pastor S.T. Gipson Jr. and a song from a family member Crystal McLean who also sang the opening music, while the community members were then left to bond over refreshments.