At a press conference Wednesday morning in Clovis, Mayor Drew Bessinger and representatives from De Young properties announced the return of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition –– 10 years later.
On July 27, construction will begin for one lucky family in Clovis, and in 100 hours after the start, a well-deserving family will have a new home they can call their own.
“From what they can do from just the dirt, to making things happen is just amazing, I certainly couldn’t do it,” Bessinger joked.
In 2009, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition came to the Central Valley and partnered with De Young. The two entities came together and blessed Mary Ann Riojas with a home of her own. Riojas was born without legs, forcing her to adapt to many challenges on a daily basis. But when Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and De Young stepped into her life, everything changed for the better.
“Extreme Makeover did an extreme blessing for me. I was born with my disability and the world does not adapt to you, you adapt to it,” Riojas said. “Living in a wheelchair you don’t know what it’s like until you live in one and so, they gave me a home where everything is accessible.”
There are a lot of things people take for granted; taking a bath, making dinner etc.
“In my old home, there were always obstacles. I would have to get out of the chair and climb on the counter to reach a dish or get out of the chair. The doorway was too small to get into the bathroom, so I had to do everything from the floor.”
Riojas had to fight through task after task every day, but with the help of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Riojas was able to have a better environment that fit her needs.
“Now my home is all accessible. It was 1,200 square feet and now it is 3,300. Everything is wheelchair accessible; the counters are low, and the wheelchair can fit through any doorway and hallway. It has just made my life amazing and it is an extreme blessing because there are no limits.”
Ten years later, De Young Properties are back in the driving seat.
Brandon De Young, Executive Vice President of De Young Properties is now leading the project with his siblings. A decade ago, it was his parents working with the Extreme Makeover team and now, the younger De Young’s will get the assignment.
With the help of different partners within the community, including community members, the project set to take shape in late July will be a culmination of the hard work and togetherness the city of Clovis has to offer.
Although building a house within a week sounds daunting, the skillful professionals at De Young Properties are ready for the challenge and ready to help out a community member in need.
“In 2009, Extreme Makeover came to us and asked if we would partner with them to build a home in just seven days for a local deserving family. I gotta tell you, at first, we kind of laughed. Seven days, it seems impossible and normally it is,” De Young said. “Normally it takes months to build a home, but at the end of the day, we realized what it was all for and how truly deserving the family that ultimately receives the home is.
“We know it’s for an amazing cause and of course it showcases our local community and it’s a national spotlight for how great our community is.”
The show has a new home HGTV and will be hosted by Jesse Tyler Ferguson from the show “Modern Family.”
Excitement is growing, but the team still needs assistance in both construction and non-construction roles.
Individuals and business are encouraged to volunteer or donate here.
The family has yet to be chosen but will be announced soon.