Wednesday, October 04, 2006
I've never been on a Hollywood set so the Koepke home build for "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" will have to suffice.
Information materials for the show consider the site in Dundee a Hollywood set. It has in many ways turned the small southeastern Fond du Lac County community into exactly that with security, spectator and media areas.
It's amazing to see how many people are working on the home and how fast it goes up. Many of the local residents involved will carry away a lifetime memory.
Our good old Wisconsin weather saw fit to throw rain, lightening, high winds and a cold snap at volunteers and construction workers. Obviously that makes for less than ideal conditions. At times those working had to wonder if they were building a home for a deserving family or if it was time to go out and collect pairs of animals.
Some of those working the site were hoping to carry away souvenirs. One person I talked to wanted a construction hat. I hoped to leave with the all access pass given to members of the media, but alas that was collected to be used by another member of the press.
Before making my visit to the site Tuesday morning I stopped by the Culinary Arts Center at Moraine Park Technical College in Fond du Lac. Students at the Center were working on a meal for the volunteers that would be served the following evening. In particular pumpkin-spiced cream puffs and croissants were coming out of the ovens. I was given a croissant filled with ham and cheese before I left. It was heavenly. Of course that's one small sample of donations for the build, there are many.
The main goal was building a home for Christine Koepke and her four children: Derek,22; Jayna,20; Mitchell, 17; and Johanna, 15. Her husband Matt died at the age of 41 of cancer on August 21st. He thought he had plenty of time to fix up their home while he working on projects like restoring the Dundee Mill into a museum, and helping build the Sportsman's Lodge and local baseball diamond.
As I write this it's getting closer and closer to "The Reveal." That's when Ty Pennington and the design team turn over the keys to the new home to Christine. If you're going Friday at 2 p.m. expect it to be a crowded affair. Of course you can catch it around Thanksgiving on Sunday, November 19th or 26th on ABC-TV.
One we heard, but haven't been able to confirm is that Faith Hill and Tim McGraw will be there for the key ceremony. Maybe that's just wishful thinking, but the show is known for its surprises. Whatever happens "The Reveal" will be special and will be long talked about after the fact and the show has moved on to help out the next family.
If you'd like to know a little bit more about the build here's the site Monarch Homes has established giving a few details and a clock counting down to the end of the project: www.extrememakeoverwisconsin.com.