One showed up in a cow suit. Five others arrived at midnight and left at the crack of dawn. Their faces were not recorded on camera, yet these Bryan students were volunteers for the “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” show which filmed in Rossville, Ga.—possibly the biggest service project happening in the Chattanooga area in mid-February.
Hundreds of volunteers gather at the finished Sharrock home on Feb. 19 for the big revealing during “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” in Rossville, Ga. Out of the 2,400 volunteers, six were from Bryan College.
Triangle photo by Billy Findley
The show is about helping families who are struggling with financial and health issues and, essentially, those whose homes and lives are about ready to fall down.
The show documents crews coming in, knocking down the house and rebuilding a custom-designed house for the family—all in one week.
The climax of the show happens when the family, who has been whisked away during the chaos of the renovation, is placed on the street with a bus obstructing their view of the finished house. With the cry of “MOVE THAT BUS!” the bus drives off allowing the family to get their first glimpse of their new home.
Last week, the show arrived in Rossville to help the Sharrock family. Michael and Cindy Sharrock are parents of 9-year-old Patrick who has a genetic disease commonly known as brittle bone disease. Brittle bone disease makes the person’s bones so fragile that they fracture very easily. According to the “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’s” website, Patrick has broken 59 bones so far.
The first Bryan student to help out was freshman Robbie Harvey.
At the pep rally held on Feb. 4 to create enthusiasm for the project, he made his appearance as one of the Chick-fil-A cows.
“I work at Chick-fil-A,” said Harvey, “and they have been a part of the action throughout the process and, of course, they wanted the famous cows to be seen.”
Anxious fans pull out every picture-taking device imaginable to get a picture
of Ty Pennington (top far left), one of the main stars of the show.
Triangle photo by Billy Findley
Harvey was unable to make it to the actual worksite, as the pep rally was held some nights before and at a different location.
However, Bryan’s cheerleading team was able to travel down to the house by Lake Winnepesauka, within walking distance of the Tennessee border. Freshman Katie Page, Amy Newport, Taylor Hutcherson, junior Summer Weiss and coach Janice Perron traveled down to the Sharrock’s home to serve in any way they could.
According to Page, “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” considers the construction site a Hollywood set. When the cheerleaders signed up, the show allowed only five students to attend. Page said that 4,800 people applied but only 2,400 were chosen.
The cheerleaders got a call Friday from the show saying that their group was scheduled to volunteer Monday night. After school, they drove to the site and arrived at 11:30 p.m. They began work at midnight and worked until 6 in the morning. By that time, the old house was demolished and the contractors were beginning to lay down the concrete foundation for the new one.
The show set up the catering tent four houses down from the sight. From the tent, the cheerleaders could see the floodlights lighting the construction area as if it was day. “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” serves five meals every 24 hrs.
“We all worked with food considering we knew nothing about setting the foundation of a house,” said Page.
“It wasn’t glamorous,” said cheerleading coach Janice Perron.
The television crews had left, but 15 to 20 construction workers remained to build the foundation. For most of the night, the cheerleaders cleared and wiped off tables, and carried coffee and water to the workers. They also served a meal at 2 a.m. and set up for breakfast.
While running food to the workers, the cheerleaders noticed a poster affixed to one of the crowd control barriers that faced the worksite. It read “Extreme Prayer Team.” The congregation from Stuart Heights Baptist church organized a 24-hour around-the-clock prayer for the project.
Stuart Heights Baptist church is the home church of Craig Smith, the man in charge of building the Sharrock’s home. Denny Brown, another member of the church, was in charge of safety on site. He was the one who started the prayer group.
“I can’t think of a better place to start than to pray for safety,” he said.
According to Brown, a poster was also placed in the rest trailer for the workers. It was updated daily to show the workers who were praying for them at that exact time.
Brown started the prayer event because he recognizes the power of prayer. He said that he wanted to give God all the glory.
On Saturday that week, the crowds came out in force to participate in the climax of the show. There is take after take of Ty Pennington stepping out of the bus to a cheering crowd and take after take of volunteers carrying empty boxes with “CVS” boldly written on the side into the finished house.
But it was the thousands of volunteers that got the show to this point. With the Sharrock family standing before the crowd with the bus obstructing their way, Ty Pennington yells “MOVE THAT BUS!”