Quincy Twp. 'Makeover' house gets spectacular sendoff

November 10, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

SOUTH MOUNTAIN, Pa. -- For "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," what goes up must first come down, so 200 people huddled up in Quincy Township on Saturday evening as they prepared to tear down the Drumm family's tiny house.

A modern, immense house will be in its place by Friday afternoon, when chants of "move that bus!" turn to cheers as the family first sees its new home.

Renee Luther expects that Matthew and Blasia Drumm will feel much like she did when she was the recipient of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" goodwill. The Port Deposit, Md., woman is volunteering this week in the same spirit of the 1,500 people who contributed to bettering her property in October 2007.

"It's amazing. I had never seen a castle, and now I live in one," Luther said.

The design team from ABC's Emmy-award winning show greeted the Drumms on Friday morning. The family of five flew to Walt Disney World as Dan Ryan Builders began efforts with the television crew.


Luther called the early morning wakeup an "out-of-body experience" for an "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" family.

"I'm so excited for them. I started praying for them yesterday," she said.

In tribute to 12-year-old Nathan Drumm's love of Godzilla, the week has taken on a massive monsters theme. Cameras filmed several takes of volunteers' reactions to a mechanical, flame-throwing Megasaurus aiding in demolition.

"We were pretty close. I think some of the fear we had to show was real," said Sharon Strausbough of Woodsboro, Md.

She and her husband, Michael, participated in the "Braveheart"-style march of volunteers in which tradesmen rush the house before demolition.

"It was so neat that several hundred people would stay out in the cold to do this for a family and for nothing at all except being nice," Michael Strausbough said.

Crews are expected to excavate the basement and trench footers Sunday.

For state Rep. Todd Rock, R-Waynesboro, watching the work reminded him of his 10 years as a homebuilder.

"It's quite a task to make it happen in seven days when a typical house takes six months, but I think they'll make it happen. They've got 2,000 volunteers or more working 24/7," Rock said.

The Drumms' oldest son, 17-year-old Ben, is enrolled at Fishburne Military School in hopes of joining the Army Special Forces.

Blasia Drumm's experiences with her autistic sons, Nathan and Donnie, 15, prompted her to begin working with children with special needs. She is a teacher's aide at the Franklin Learning Center in Chambersburg, Pa., and hopes to operate an in-home respite service for children like her younger sons.

The couple is heavily involved in the Challenger Little League program for people with special needs.

Spectators can visit the site from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. They should park at the Mont Alto Fire Department carnival grounds on Pa. 997 to board a shuttle to the Loop Road home.

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