‘Extreme’ Home Needed

Published 8:57 pm Saturday, March 27, 2010

The ABC network’s popular “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” show is headed to Hampton Roads, and producers are looking for a deserving family or organization from the area that is in need of a new home.

“We are in search of deserving families and deserving people — people who have amazing strength of character and who put their own needs aside to help others,” a press release announcing the episode states.

“Whether it’s a Mom, a soldier, a teacher or a fireman, we think a deserving family … inspire(s) those around them. In addition the producers are looking for families whose houses need major alterations or repair — homes that present serious problems for the family and affect the family’s quality of life.”

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In the show, carpenter and interior designer Ty Pennington leads a team of volunteers that comes into a community and chooses a deserving family in need of a home upgrade and spends a week in a builder’s blitz updating and improving the home while the family takes a free vacation.

The show takes on 25 home makeovers each season and has travelled all over the United States changing families’ lives.

Producers are looking for a family from Norfolk and the geographic area within a 30-mile radius for their Hampton Roads episode. To be eligible, a family must own its own single-family home or land and be able to show producers how a makeover will “make a huge difference in their lives,” according to the announcement.

One recent episode featured the Heathcock family of Hattiesburg, Miss., whose home was badly damaged in Hurricane Katrina. Sherman Heathcock, who enlisted in the National Guard following the events of 9/11, was brought home from Iraq to join his family on a Disney vacation while workers rebuilt his crumbling home.

The United States Automobile Association also donated $75,000 in scholarship money for the Heathcock children.

According to an email sent from the Norfolk mayor’s office, an exception to the show’s “family”-focus could be made in the case, for example, of a group of seniors living in the same dwelling who have given much to the community, or a local shelter in need of a new facility.

To nominate a family or group, email a short description of the story to VirginiaCasting@gmail.com. Nominations should include the names and ages of each member of the household, a description of the major challenges within the home, an explanation of why the family or group is deserving or a positive role model within the community, photos of the family and the home and a contact phone number for the person making the nomination.

The deadline for submissions is April 19. For more information, abc.go.com/shows/extreme-makeover-home-edition.