I helped with clearing out the old house, handing out coffee to workers during blizzard-like conditions, organizing the food and supplies at the dining/rest center, painting and decorating Ryan's and Jared's new bedrooms, and cleaning the new house before the reveal. I was also involved with filming clips for the "Braveheart March" and kick off just before demolition. I even met the host of the show, Ty Pennington, and he complimented my snow boots! John and my mom also volunteered. It was a great experience, and I'm glad we were able to give some of our time for such a deserving family.
Packing the dining room
After our first shift during the ice storm
Ready to film the "Braveheart March." Lots of standing around and waiting followed by jogging and outrageous cheering. Luckily the producers were happy after the second take.
As a side note, I do know the family that was given the new home, and I keep in contact with them regularly. The Starkweathers rescued two dogs from the side of the road in rural Oklahoma, and John and I adopted them in 2008.
In addition to rescuing and fostering pets, the Starkweathers are involved with the Oklahoma Make-A-Wish-Foundation. Ethan, their youngest son, has Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS). PWS is a rare genetic chromosomal disorder, which causes low muscle tone, labored speech, trouble breathing, and because of a malfunctioning hypothalamus, a constant feeling of extreme hunger. Ethan's wish to visit Disney World was granted in 2008 (news story here). Since then, Ethan has become an Oklahoma Make-A-Wish Foundation ambassador, helping raise money for other children to go on trips.
The Starkweather Family
Ethan, Amy, Toen, Jared, and Ryan
The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Oklahoma nominated the family for ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. During filming of the show, a two-night auction raised more than $300,000 for the Oklahoma Make-A-Wish Foundation, the most a non-profit agency has raised in conjunction with an Extreme Makeover: Home Edition project.
Starkweather's new home
Remember to set your DVR to record Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on Sunday evenings, and look for the Starkweather episode on May 9. To read more about the Starkweathers and their new home visit the following links:
Simmons Homes: "Extreme Simmons"
Simmons Homes: Facebook fan page
Tulsa World: "Tulsa 'Extreme Makeover' home revealed"Tulsa World: "Tulsa 'Extreme Makeover' family expresses appreciation"
Don't forget the Kleenex!