A Token of Affection from Ty Pennington

By popular demand, here it is:

In truth it is more of an upper-arm band/choker, but this was Ty's present to Erica.

In truth it is more of an upper-arm band/choker, but this was Ty "The Shaggable Shaygitz" Pennington's present to Erica. She was last seen going to lurk outside of Ty's trailer.

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Report from the Set of the DC-area Extreme Makeover Home Edition

by Erica Steen, Director of the Morris Cafritz Center for Community Service

After meeting the “Extreme Team” location staff last week, they enlisted our Behrend Builder volunteers to construct the plywood floors for the food tents (craft services for those of you in “the biz”). Sunday was the day and what a day it was! My colleague Randy Bacon (Behrend Builders’ Director) and I took a group of 18 volunteers to help out the Location Crew on the sets of ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. It was a day to remember. We arrived at registration where we all received our hard hats and bright blue Extreme shirts. We grabbed our tools and were off to work.

There was a lot of “hurry up and wait” at first since our supplies weren’t there yet, but our drills and saws were charged and we were ready to go. It only took our rockin’ group of volunteers about an hour and a half to build the first floor that was housed under the VIP food tent. And then we waited again. What’s with these TV people anyway? Don’t they do this over and over and over again?

Ty Pennington

He Likes Me?

It was OK, we got more than we bargained for in a good way! In the sun and heat we waited and waited for the second round of supplies…meanwhile we watched Ty Pennington and his crew film the demolition of the Trip family house. It was pretty cool cheering the big honkin’ excavators.  Double-bonus, it seemed the other volunteers for the day hadn’t made it, so when the film crew needed extras…GO Washington DCJCC! Yes, we were there to step in. Our volunteers really do whatever we need of them. At one point though I did get in a bit of a kerfuffle with the guy in charge of extras. Our supplies had finally arrived and he just didn’t understand that we needed to build a floor and didn’t have so much time to mill around (yes, those were our directions) and be on camera. In the end, we got to do both. But, I don’t think he was so happy with me.

Now, there’s no telling if we’ll make air or end up on the cutting room floor, but sometime in November, you might just see a familiar Washington DCJCC volunteer or staff face on ABC.

So, I had a very busy Sunday. Together we built 3 ply-wood floors, cheered on two demolitions and helped put up a tent. Four of our volunteers filmed a scene with Paulie  (they’ll be acting like fish…watch for them) and we all counted down from 10, three different times so that they could get the best count-down for the demolition scene. And yes, for those that are interested…I did meet Ty Pennington and he made me a bracelet of twigs and leaves. I think he likes me.

Extreme Makeover Home Edition Comes to the Washington DCJCC

by Erica Steen, Director of the Morris Cafritz Center for Community Service

ExtremeMakeoverWaddyaknow? They actually do get the house built in 7 days. I’m not sure I would have believed it before. With all of the lights and cameras for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition I assumed they cut and spliced their way through a month or so of building and just made it look like a week. But, a week it really is. Better than that, you can see for yourself if you  join our group from the Washington DCJCC to volunteer at the Extreme Makeover work site in DC between August 22 – September 2. However, the registration deadline is Monday, August 17 at 4pm, so if you’re reading this after that, you’ll have to catch it when it airs.

The producers, builders, sponsors, donors and even some volunteers of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition had a rally yesterday in the Washington DCJCC’s  Aaron & Cecile Goldman Theater. Yes, we hosted the pre-show rally that brought everyone together. It was pretty cool.

For years I watched the show and it always brought me to tears. I finally stopped watching. I thought this is ridiculous; it’s reality TV that has been scripted. Well, I don’t know anything about a script, but from just sitting in our theater and listing to Conrad, the show’s Executive Producer, I was yet again in tears hearing about the difference each build makes.

As the Director of the Morris Cafritz Center for Community Service I know that sometimes we make just as much of an impact on our volunteers as we do on the people we are trying to help. For some reason I hadn’t thought about the impact that this show also makes. The fact that whole neighborhoods pitch-in, that volunteers are literally used around the clock (yes, 24 hours a day) and that a home, or in DC’s case, a home and community center are rebuilt, touches the lives of so many.

For a show I stopped watching because I wondered how much was true, I am back to supporting it. I look forward to getting our volunteers involved and can’t wait to be a part of making a difference and doing what we do, volunteering.

And if Ty Pennington needs help applying sunscreen to his washboard abs, I’ll gladly make myself available.

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