- Rockford visitor spending jumps
- The misguided Cecil the lion debate
- State, union extend contract again
- Willow Creek left in the dust by development
- CUB helps residents find best deal
- What the Scott Walker fundraising controversy means for 2016
- Corn prices fade as supplies stay in surplus
- Cubs make history in an unfortunate way
- Pension battle headed for SCOTUS?
- Closed for Progress: downtown’s steady revival
Extreme Makeover complete in northwest Illinois
Episode to air in December 2009 or January 2010
From press release
FREEPORT, Ill.—It wasn’t your typical vacation for the Stott family. They left home Thursday, Sept. 10, for a trip to San Francisco, courtesy of—and accompanied by—Disney Vacation Club in San Francisco. The family wouldn’t have any contact with anyone back home—no quick calls to check on how the horses were doing, no text messages to or from the kids’ friends.
But, oh, it was worth it. When the Stotts came home, it was to an amazingly silent crowd of thousands, waiting for a director’s OK to erupt into cheers. Behind the fabled Extreme Makeover: Home Edition bus waited a beautiful new home for the family of five.
“It was so quiet!” Kaila said. “I can’t believe they got so many people to be so quiet”
“It was amazing,” Joey said. “We took our blindfolds off, and it was just a sea of smiling faces and a huge wave of love.”
With a huge cheer from the crowd, the bus pulled away, revealing the Stotts’ new 3,000-square-foot home. A gently-curving sidewalk led up the lush, green front yard to their new white house with yellow shutters and a bright yellow door.
“It is the most beautiful home…” Joey said. “When the bus first pulled away, it looked like a dollhouse. This went way beyond what Philip and I ever talked about—beyond our wildest dreams!”
Philip is excited about the home’s many green qualities: “It’s surreal. The geothermal heating and cooling and wind energy will run our heat pump and all of our appliances, which are Energy Star compliant. The craftsmanship and quality of what our community has put together is just amazing.”
More than 3,000 volunteers—both professional tradespeople and everyday people—worked together to build the house in 106 hours for ABC’s hit reality show, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. The effort was led by Rick Hasken, co-owner with his wife, Laurie, of Hasken Construction.
“There are those who say that the spirit of community is a thing of the past,” Rick Hasken said. “I’m proud to say that’s certainly not true in northwest Illinois.”
The amazing experience took just a week—from Ty Pennington knocking on the Stotts’ old door Sept. 9 to opening the door to their new home Sept. 16. The actual building of the house took only 106 hours. The Extreme Makeover: Home Edition episode filmed last week will air in December 2009 or January 2010, according to ABC.
The project inspired more than the 3,000 people who literally touched it, spurring hundreds of people to donate money or goods and services to the project, donate blood, sign up to be bone marrow donors or donate a nonperishable food item for area food pantries. Organizers of the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition build will work to carry on that spirit of giving with community service drives and more in the upcoming weeks.
“The University of Illinois Extension, which is spearheading the Pay It Forward: EXTREME effort, has already received calls from interested groups,” said Marilyn Smit, co-founder of M45 Marketing Services, which handled marketing and public relations for the build.
“We’re looking forward to showcasing one youth organization each week until this show’s airdate,” Smit said. “Those groups will be carrying on the incredibly generous spirit of giving we’ve seen in the past week here in northwest Illinois. If your group is interested, please call the University of Illinois Extension-Stephenson County at (815) 235-4125 by Friday, Oct. 9.”
For more information about the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition northwest Illinois build, visit www.extremehaskenconstruction.com. Follow events leading up to the build—and the build itself—via Twitter and Facebook.
From the September 23-29, 2009 issue