A mission with the magnitude of Golden Crescent Habitat for Humanity’s, one that breaks the cycle of poverty for a family and impacts generations to come, is only accomplished by the hands of many. These faithful servants of the Lord generously share their time and resources, usually without fanfare or celebration. In May 2013, the Habitat family sadly lost one of its longest and most faithful supporters, Dan Coleman.
As president and CEO of Zarsky Lumber Co., Coleman was involved with Habitat from its start in Victoria. Under his leadership, Zarsky built the trusses for each house, discounted the lumber, and donated the labor, which is a value of about $500 per house.
He offered a significant discount on other materials purchased from Zarsky Lumber Co., including lumber and windows. This tradition carries on today. It is hard to quantify exactly how much Zarsky Lumber Co. has donated to Habitat’s mission in the last 20 years, but it is estimated to be upward of $1 million. That is the equivalent to the cost of 15 houses.
Coleman’s daughter, Cally Fromme is now president and CEO of Zarksy Lumber Co. She said her dad was committed to supporting Habitat’s mission because he strongly believed in affordable housing.
“He, together with his dad and brother, built and sold two-bedroom, one-bath homes right after the war,” she said. “My dad was not extravagant or showy. He believed in the bare basics and the need for shelter.”
She said he also believed in helping people who were willing to do their share by giving them the chance to work, grow, and fulfill the American Dream.
“He was a good, kind, generous man who liked giving people an opportunity, especially through a direct connection,” Fromme said. “He worked hard his whole life and if you had his respect, you knew you had earned it. He had respect for Habitat and its homeowners, who worked to buy their houses.”
Under Coleman’s leadership, Zarsky Lumber Co. grew to 10 locations and its ranking of 67th nationwide in sales volume for independent lumberyards.
In addition to his hard work at the lumber company, Coleman gave quietly and generously to many different organizations and individuals in the community.
“Shortly after my dad died, a carpenter came in and said ‘I was able to feed and educate my children because your dad gave me a job,’” Fromme said.
Zarsky Lumber Co. plans to continue their relationship with Habitat, Fromme said.
“As donors, we value that Habitat has vetted the families, educated them, and prayed with them,” she said. “It truly makes a difference in their lives and isn’t just a band-aid. We are giving these hardworking families an opportunity to change their own lives.”
Community Partner Award