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Suzannec  (Level: 258.6 - Posts: 616)
Tue, 21st Oct '08 1:18 PM


A few weeks ago, my co-worker Rachel (we work for the local park dist.) told us all that her parents home was in the running for the show. Well, this morning Ty Pennington and Co. pulled up in the giant bus and announced that they were chosen for a new house! The whole town (Pekin, IL pop. 31,000) is pretty darn excited. Rachel's folks have fostered and adopted many disabled kids over the years and they recently adopted Jacob, an eight year old with an unusual hard-to-pronouce syndrome. He will always be tiny, but he is a cute and happy little guy. This family was nominated for the show three years ago by Easter Seals and ABC did a very thorough background check on them.
Next thing I know, I spot some guys erecting a tent in the park, which is generally not allowed. My boss Tom explained that they are from the show and will be camping out next to our maintenance building. Our park is also loaning the show our JFL bleachers so everyone has a place to sit and they are also using our big parking lot for everyone to park. I hope to see the big bus coming and going for the next week. Will Steve (Tuzilla) be driving it???? I hope so!
The house is located on a busy street however it is now closed off except to workers. Something else that is exciting about this project is that the general contractor is a woman, a first for this show. I'll try to let you all know what's going on with this project from day to day.

Pennwoman  (Level: 161.8 - Posts: 2476)
Tue, 21st Oct '08 2:20 PM

Oh cool! Yes, please keep us updated!

Salzypat  (Level: 161.3 - Posts: 5414)
Tue, 21st Oct '08 3:37 PM

I copied your post and will send it to my former boss. He lived in Pekin for quite a few years. Maybe he'll even know this family.

How exciting for that family. This is so neat to have a "connection" to the show, even if it's just through some of our members. Give us updates as often as you can.

Bbear  (Level: 166.9 - Posts: 2297)
Tue, 21st Oct '08 4:38 PM

That's really neat. It certainly was all the buzz here in New Orleans when they came to do a church and a house of a volunteer firefighter's family.

Suzannec  (Level: 258.6 - Posts: 616)
Tue, 21st Oct '08 8:28 PM

When I got back from my lunch break, my boss told me to hop in his truck and we drove over to the site. Because we were bringing the bleachers, we got to bypass security, which was wonderful! There were about 100 people standing around gawking and not much else was going on. Ty P. was hiding out in the giant bus but there was a bald man making the rounds and he was getting a lot of attention and people were taking his picture. I guess I should start watching the show so I know who everyone is! Here is a link about the family. Rachel, my co-worker is not in the picture. These are their adopted children.

Suzannec  (Level: 258.6 - Posts: 616)
Wed, 22nd Oct '08 7:42 PM

The whole town was a buzz of excitement today. The tents that were put up yesterday in the park where I work are for the volunteers to sign in and then a chartered bus shuttles them to the site. They seem to be working in four hour shifts and each person was given a Home Makeover t-shirt and a hard hat. The guys at my job seem to have an open pass to the home site so they all headed over there today (my boss wouldn't let me go! ) They came back and said there were hundreds of people watching. The local radio station is giving away VIP viewing tickets in the morning so I'll try for those.
Around 1:30 pm, we could hear fireworks and then the Waste Management team left the park to go collect the remains of their house. I heard that it was demolished in all of 10 minutes. They are also getting a built-in swimming pool in the back yard.
Just an observation - The generosity of the local businesses and volunteers involved with this project is very sweet. Very few know this deserving family, yet they are giving so much of themselves for them. If anyone thinks kindness and volunteerism toward others is long gone, then they should see what I am seeing this week. It is very inspiring and I will never forget this experience.

Tuzilla  (Level: 144.5 - Posts: 3839)
Thu, 23rd Oct '08 3:27 PM

Congrats to them and the community. Be certain to go out and watch, and volunteer, too, if you can.

I won't be there. I am certain that a local charter company will donate buses for workers, etal., like our company did up here.

IT will be a week of H*** for the neighborhood, what with the commotion and road closing, but all great things come at a price.

Have fun!

Suzannec  (Level: 258.6 - Posts: 616)
Thu, 23rd Oct '08 6:44 PM

Construction began on the new house today. A local construction co. is doing the work and it should be done by Tues. morn. Unfortunately, it started to pour around lunch time, but the job continued as the workers wore plastic ponchos. The rumors are now flying fast and furious - Supposedly Governor Rod Blagojevich (pronounced bluh-goy-uh-vitch) is stopping by, which, if that rumor turns out to be true, will make this event even more of a circus! Another rumor is that the neighbors on both sides and behind them got $10,000 for their trouble and the city of Pekin got $50,000.
For real is that up to 10,000 people are expected for the house presentation on Tues. morning and to yell "Move that bus!" before the show people make their way to the next chosen house in Kansas. I didn't try for the VIP tickets because I didn't want to sit in the rain and watch construction. I'll wait until it airs. More tomorrow!

Tuzilla  (Level: 144.5 - Posts: 3839)
Thu, 23rd Oct '08 6:58 PM

Yes...rain. The building was gone faster that a David Copperfield stunt, and the new foundation was poured and the frame was up so fast a mushroom would be jealous. bamboo should grow so fast. The roof was on that afternoon, then it started to rain for about a day. But, with the roof up, it really didn't hinder much. You are probably seeing the same thing.

This house was on a secondary road that a lot of people use as a shortcut going to and from work, so they were inconvenienced. Yours sounds a little more intrusive. Still, despite the pandering politicians and persona, the roadblocks kept the photo ops down to manageable size. The most important thing is keeping the flow of people and food flowing in and out.

Oh well...enjoy the chaos.

Maurlin  (Level: 220.5 - Posts: 2707)
Thu, 23rd Oct '08 9:08 PM

I'm really enjoying the updates!. Please keep them coming.

Fudypatootie  (Level: 205.8 - Posts: 1302)
Thu, 23rd Oct '08 10:44 PM

Definitely keep us posted. Some nice pics of Ty would be good, too, if you can swing it.

Ladyvol  (Level: 212.1 - Posts: 5645)
Fri, 24th Oct '08 8:54 AM

That is so awesome and very inspiring...please keep us posted with updates...

Suzannec  (Level: 258.6 - Posts: 616)
Fri, 24th Oct '08 8:19 PM

More excitement! Today I hopped on the volunteer shuttle bus to catch a quick glimpse of things while on my lunch break. Although the house it going to be a ranch, it has a high cathedral ceiling and they will get a built-in pool in the backyard. Around 2:00 pm, there was a clap of thunder that sounded like a bomb going off and then all the sudden it started to absolutely pour! This time there was hail to go with it. It soon stopped and everything was back to business.
Word has it that Ty Pennington has left for a few days because they are building another home in Pennsylvania. However he will be back here on Tuesday for the unveiling.
There are hundreds of volunteers coming and going and they are interesting to watch. Some of the women are dressing very sexy with their low-cut shirts and wahoobees hanging out. Of course they have the high heels to go with it! As far as the men go, it is blue collar stud central! No wonder the girls are dressing this way. You name it; plumbers, electricians, carpenters, roofers, etc. You gotta love those hard hats and tool belts!!!!
There are two shuttle buses for the volunteers. A yellow school bus is provided for the average Joe Schmoes and there is a chartered bus for the VIP volunteers. They are the ones whose companies have donated large sums of money. It is really kind of ridiculous because you are only on the bus for about two minutes. I pretended the chartered bus driver was Steve (Tuzilla) and I waved to him every time I passed him today. I wish it was you Steve, then we could have gossiped about Sploofus!!
This project has really brought the good out in this community. Folks are bringing the workers food, donating money and many joined Ty in a blood drive. I have met people from all over the state who are hoping to get in on the action.

Suzannec  (Level: 258.6 - Posts: 616)
Mon, 27th Oct '08 5:37 PM

Tomorrow is the big day! That is when the family comes home from Disneyworld and gets to see their new house. I didn't think they would be able to fit a 4000 sq. ft. house on the small property, but they did. The house is beautiful, but it definitely looks different from the others. My crazy co-worker Rick is pals with the people behind the Grys family and he easily snuck onto the site many times over the weekend. He chit-chatted with Ty P. briefly and watched them film a scene over and over. Rick videotaped all this and showed it at work today. There are still hundreds of volunteers coming and going and the sod and landscaping is now in place. Last update tomorrow!

Pennwoman  (Level: 161.8 - Posts: 2476)
Mon, 27th Oct '08 7:56 PM

They did build a home in Pittsburgh, and it was awesome! I cant wait to see the one built there!

Koota  (Level: 187.3 - Posts: 2114)
Mon, 27th Oct '08 8:44 PM

It has been so much fun to follow the progress of the house. Thanks for keeping us posted. I love watching the show too.

Suzannec  (Level: 258.6 - Posts: 616)
Tue, 28th Oct '08 10:00 PM

The Grys family was brought home from the local airport in a limo today around 5:00 pm. There were thousands of people there to holler "Move that bus!" and when the bus finally moved, they got to see their new house. Little Jacob was so excited! This house is really gorgeous on the outside. My brother-in-law is a cop so security gave him a tour of the inside of the house last night and he said it is the prettiest house he has ever seen. Jacob's room has a Mickey Mouse theme and the built-in pool is actually indoors, not out in the backyard as I had previously stated. One of my pals is going to help move all their belongings from the storage facility back into the new house tomorrow and then perhaps life can begin to get back to normal for this nice family. The show is scheduled to air Jan. 11, 2009. If that changes, I will let you know. You can see the house and read a little more about it at this link:

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