Survivalist Jeff Zausch to attend Gateway Habitat for Humanity fundraiser
POCATELLO — A Pocatello man famous for his outdoor survival skills is helping to build a shelter — this time a long-term home — for a local family in need.
Jeff Zausch, who has been featured on multiple Discovery Channel shows including “Naked and Afraid” and “Dual Survival,” will be the special guest at a Gateway Habitat for Humanity fundraiser on Friday. He will participate in a meet-and-greet with attendees and will offer guide services for the silent auction.
Katie Counts, who manages the Gateway Habitat for Humanity ReStore, said Zausch supports their efforts to provide homes for people in need.
“He wanted to donate his time to help spread the word and bring awareness to it,” Counts said.
The event themed “Evening in the Garden” will take place at 6 p.m. at the Pinehurst Nursery in Pocatello. Tickets, which are available at the ReStore, located at 2400 Garrett Way, cost $25 in advance or $30 at the door. The price includes finger foods, provided by Del Monte Meats, and a drink.
Proceeds will go toward the construction of a new home on Randolph Avenue, Counts said.
“We’re not just building homes, we’re changing lives,” she said, adding that they’re helping local families, who wouldn’t qualify for a traditional mortgage, to get into safe and sustainable housing.
Gateway Habitat for Humanity is an affiliate of the nonprofit Habitat for Humanity International, according to its website, www.gatewayhabitat.org.
“Habitat for Humanity works in partnership with people in need to build and renovate decent, affordable housing. The houses then are sold to those in need at no profit and with no interest charged,” according to the website, which adds that their mortgage payments then go into a revolving fund used to build more houses.
Families are selected through an assessment and interview process, Counts said, and those chosen are required to put in hundreds of hours of sweat equity.
“We want them to participate in building their future home and learn skills along the way,” Counts said. “People tend to appreciate things more (if they) put sweat and tears into making their dreams a reality.”
Counts said they want to raise $5,000 to put toward the Randolph home build during the upcoming fundraiser.
Zausch hopes to help them achieve that goal. He is offering guide services for the silent auction. The winning bidder gets to choose one of three options: a guided climb up Mount Borah, a guided overnight trip to Goldbug Hotsprings, or an introductory shelter construction and primitive fire starting lesson on Scout Mountain for a group of kids, Counts said.
“He really enjoys being able to teach these skills to children in the area,” Counts said, adding that they are good skills for kids to have in the event that they get lost or stranded somewhere overnight.
Many other businesses and people are also donating items for the auction, including furniture, a hotel stay, a 30-minute aromatherapy massage, an autographed Blake Shelton CD, and gift certificates among others, Counts said.
She hopes many people will attend the event to support a worthy cause, bid on some unique items, and get to know Zausch.
“Not many get an opportunity to spend time with a celebrity,” Counts said.
For more information, people can visit www.gatewayhabitat.org or “Gateway Habitat for Humanity ReStore” on Facebook.