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Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

Fargo-Moorhead residents have volunteered to save the community from floods, but this week volunteers will build a house.

A Moorhead family, the Grommeshes, will hear the excited, well-recognized “Move that bus!” from ABC-TV’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” and Cobbers are going to be a part of it.

Bill and Adair Grommesh’s 9-year-old son, Garrett, was born with spina bifida and uses a wheelchair, according to the project’s Web site. Their 11-year-old daughter, Peighton, has Axenfeld-Riegers syndrome, and both Garrett and Peighton “overwhelm those around them with joy,” according to the project’s Web site.

Bill and Adair manage HOPE, Inc, a non-profit with a vision “to enhance the quality of life for children who are physically and mentally challenged and their families,” according to This build will finally provide Garrett with a handicap-accessible home.

Sarah McCurdy, a 2003 graduate of Concordia and adjunct professor in the communication studies and theater arts department, will volunteer with public relations and update journal entries for the project’s Web site.

“With thousands of volunteers in a variety of positions, there are thousands of stories,” she said in an e-mail interview. “I will get to dive in and just be curious, gathering the moments along the way and sharing them with the community via the website.”

The Emmy-award winning reality show will construct the Grommeshes’ new home in a week in the old barn-raising fashion. The community will spend 106 hours, or four and a half days, to build the home, the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead reported. Thousands of volunteers are needed to construct the house.

While there are a few specific trades and skills still needed, such as carpenters and framers, most volunteer positions are now filled.

Local builder Heritage Homes has been hired to construct the house in one week. This is the third “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” home-build for Heritage Homes. In 2006, they built a home for the Blivens in Minot, ND, and in 2007, they worked in New Orleans with other builders to help victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Heritage Homes’ co-owners Daryl Braham and Tyrone Leslie are “beyond excited to finally have [Extreme Makeover: Home Edition] here,” they said in a press release.

Abby Sauer, a junior, loves the ABC-TV show, because “it’s really uplifting and really positive… it [glorifies] goodness.”

Sauer signed up to volunteer with a friend, but due to the massive participation, is not sure if they will get an assignment.

“[We’re] hoping to… make a real tangible difference,” she said.

Senior Preston Johnson will work as production assistant for the show. Like Sauer, he does not know what his week will entail.

“All I know is that I’ll be a [production assistant], work 12-hour shifts, and what I’ll be paid,” he said in an e-mail interview. “That’s about it.”

Though the community will need to be flexible to accommodate the short-notice build, “it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity,” McCurdy said.

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