"We dreamed that when we retired we would help fund a house for Habitat for Humanity," said Haughton. "This is a great and happy day of celebration - truly a dream come true."
Not only did Haughton and his wife Judy contribute sweat equity to the project, they gifted $50,000 upon his recent retirement, which is being matched by PMI Group. That total will sponsor a home for one family.
The couple was joined Friday at the Edes Avenue Development in Oakland by a team of family, friends and Bay Area business leaders who wanted to help celebrate the retirement. They installed windows and doors, built front porches, and completed interior framing.
"We'll work together and have fun helping families who are working hard for home ownership," said Roger Haughton.
The Haughtons have been working with Habitat for Humanity for 15 years in its quest to provide decent affordable housing in safe neighborhoods. Together they have built or helped build more than 45 houses and have taken part in seven Jimmy Carter Work Project blitzes.
They keep in mind the fact that although they help to build the house, the family who moves in is going to "build a home."
"You leave with the heart knowledge that this is really something you can do to permanently change the life of a family," said Judy Haughton.
Roger was impressed when he saw plans for the Edes Avenue Development, which is transforming a former auto salvage yard in East Oakland into a new, sustainable, "green" development. Twenty of the 54 planned homes have been completed.
"When I saw this, I said, 'How can I pass up a sponsorship opportunity?'" he said.
Roger Haughton has served on the board for Habitat for Humanity International, and Judy Haughton is a former member of board of the Mt. Diablo Habitat for Humanity, now part of Habitat for Humanity East Bay. Judy and Roger Haughton were also active with the Danny Foundation, which worked to prevent crib deaths, Animal Rescue Foundation and the Monument Crisis Center.
"Sometimes I think it's the volunteer who comes away with more," said Judy Haughton, who is retired from teaching at Valley Christian Elementary in Dublin.
Habitat for Humanity East Bay celebrates its 20th anniversary this year plus the completion of its 200th home and the start of a campaign to build another 200 homes in the next five years. This fits in with the Haughtons' idea of a celebration: The couple celebrated their 25th, 30th and 35th wedding anniversaries working on homes in the United States and around the globe.
They agreed Friday's event was a proper celebration for Roger's retirement as dozens of volunteers showed up to help.
"We are so thankful that we are able to have family here, business associates, people who have touched our lives," he said.