Gary Linehan, The Union Democrat

Habitat for Humanity of Tuolumne County will host its sixth annual "House Party" from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Immanuel Lodge in Twain Harte.

Tickets are $85 and include a barbecue meal, wine or beer, birdhouse building contest and silent and live auctions.

This year's party has a Western theme, complete with barbecue that includes smoked chicken, tri-tip and pulled pork cooked on site by Any Event Catering.

Wine, beer and hard cider will be provided by regional vendors.

The birdhouse building competition is always one of the most highly anticipated parts of the program, with six contestants competing for the title of Mr. or Ms. Habitat.

In addition to constructing a unique birdhouse, contestants actively vie for audience support through lively fundraising. This year's contestants include Kaenan Whitman, Patty Aguiar, Matt Bouchard and Dawn Cronin - the reigning Ms. Habitat.

Guests can help them win by donating money in their name or by buying at auction the custom birdhouses they build on stage in just 15 minutes.

Among the more than 50 items in the silent and live auctions will be:

• A children's playhouse built by Habitat construction volunteers from left over home-building materials from houses currently under construction at Parrotts Ferry Village in Columbia.

• Packages for Kennedy Meadows and Evergreen Lodge.

• Winery tours and picnics.

The live auction also will feature eight high-end items, including a rare autographed Willie Mays jersey that is framed and authenticated.

Also up for bid in the live auction is a luxury suite at an Oakland Raiders football game that includes field passes for 18 and five parking passes.

New this year is bidding by telephone. Call the Habitat office at 536-0970 to register for a single, static bid or for live bidding at 5:15 p.m.

Event tickets are available for purchase online at www.habitat or by contacting Executive Director Betsy Harden at 536-0970.

Tickets, directions, full descriptions of the auction items and more information also are available by calling 536-0970 or visiting

Habitat is a faith-based organization working in partnership with families and the community.

All proceeds from the party go to support Habitat's mission to provide safe, decent and affordable housing for low-income, hard-working residents of Tuolumne County.

"Habitat for Humanity of Tuolumne County builds new homes for qualified low income buyers, helping eliminate substandard housing in our community," Harden said. "This makes our community stronger and healthier."