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Habitat for Humanity branch in La Crosse gets $2M piece of huge national gift

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La Crosse’s Habitat for Humanity branch has received a $2 million gift from a well-known philanthropist. 

The donation for the local home-building group is among gifts to more than 80 Habitat affiliates receiving money from MacKenzie Scott, one of America’s richest women. 

Scott, the former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, just donated $436 million total to the Habitat organization. 

Habitat volunteers have built dozens of new homes for families in the La Crosse area.  Local director Kahya Fox says she learned about the donation a few weeks ago, but could not even tell her board about it until the national announcement was made on Tuesday.

Fox says the $2 million for La Crosse is the equivalent of the cost for about 15 houses, which Habitat might normally build here over two to four years. The local organization says much of the housing in La Crosse is older and becoming less safe, while apartment dwellers are seeing rents go up sharply.

Besides building houses, Habitat also operates a ReStore discount store near Valley View Mall.  

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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