Senior launches electronics drive to help prevent abuse in Congo

Katherine Mayhew/Staff Writer

By this time, almost everybody in the Cedar Valley knows that the Gibbs family of West Union was chosen to be on the hit show, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. But what many don’t know is that 20 members of the CFHS staff volunteered to work on the Gibb’s new home.

The producers of Extreme Makeover never had so many people willing to volunteer. It was said that they had to turn down about five times as many people as they have had to before.

However, through the outpouring of help, members of the CFHS staff were fortunate enough to be able to work on the Gibbs’ new home.

Among them was math teacher Ethan Wiechmann and science teacher Scott Bolhmann. Wiechmann acted as the ring leader of the group, even asking students to urge other teachers to sign up.

“Mr. Wiechmann called me about the event shortly after he left the rally. He thought it would be fun and asked me if I was game, to which I said yes,” Bolhmann said.

The group of teachers left at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 6 and returned home around the hour of 4 a.m. The staff worked on the installation of concrete.

“Laying the concrete was the hardest part for me because it was so close to the end of our shift,” Wiechmann said.

Teresa Martin said, “I’m sure they all felt it is much better to give of oneself than to receive from others.” Martin wanted to attend the building of the Gibbs’ new house, but unfortunately had a last minute change of plans.

Audrey Gibbs is the mother of six children; she lost her husband to cancer in 2000 and seven months later she was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm. Gibbs turned down surgery that would repair her vision so she could take care of more “practical” things such as paying the heating bill. However, the more stress that Gibbs endured, the more her vision worsened. Her medical condition eventually left her legally blind, forcing to her to lose her job and leaving the family with no income.

When the Extreme Makeover crew came to the Gibbs’ home, they came to realize that the ceiling of the home was rapidly deteriorating and collapsing in on the home, and the family of seven had no working toilet.

As the family was sent off to Florida for a relaxing vacation, hundreds of volunteers began tearing down the Gibbs’ home with the help from a 650-pound pig, a miniature horse and three John Deere tractors.

With the help with numerous local contractors and thousands of volunteers, they were able to raise a new home in a mere seven days. One could assume that a production like this could turn into mass chaos very quickly.

There are so many elements that could go wrong, and the entire project could go down.  For the majority of the build, Larson Construction kept the pace up and was ahead of schedule.

The reveal was Sunday, Oct. 9, and the episode is set to air sometime in January; the exact date is yet to be announced.

Class of 2014

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.