By Brooke Barker
October 17, 2006 | A crew in place: all ready
for lights, camera and destruction! Extreme
Makeover got underway Tuesday with a slew
of spectators and volunteers vying for the perfect
spot to sit and watch the walls come crashing
in and possibly catch a glimpse of Ty Pennington,
the show's host.
Jen Hamann and her sister Krystal Barlow came
out around 6:15 a.m. with hopes to be near the
front of the volunteer march to the site and have
a good spot for the demolition. Despite the chilly
temperatures, they managed to meet Preston Sharp,
a member of the design team for the show and snag
"I'm skipping a few classes, but I'll be
back for a test this afternoon," Barlow,
a USU student, said.
At around 10:15 a.m., the crowd began chanting,
"Tear it down! Tear it down!" as two
backhoes moved into place for the perfect shot
for the show's camera crew-- after all, you can
only completely obliterate a house once.
"It's been overwhelming," said Ati
Velasquez. "There's been a lot of crying,
laughing, smiling, and crying. It's a constant
Velasquez's family was selected Sunday for the
show and is currently in the U.S. Virgin Islands
until Sunday, Oct. 22, when their new home will
be revealed. She recently married and no longer
lives with her mother, Janet Pauni, and eight
"I'm looking forward to their reaction on
Sunday," Velasquez said. She will be helping
throughout the week as a volunteer on the house,
which was her choice over the vacation.
"The producer of the show asked if I would
have liked to go with my family, but I really
think I'd rather help here," Velasquez said.
STUDENTS HELP OUT:
USU students Heather Day and Miles Erickson collect
trash off the street while the concrete is setting
for the Paunis' new home. Both freshmen, Erickson
and Day volunteered for the midnight-to-4-a.m.
shift at the site. Because the concrete was poured
at 11:45 p.m. Tuesday and needed a few hours to
set, and the rest of the crew were digging for
pipes, volunteers were doing jobs such as cleaning
up the street around 1 a.m. Wednesday. "We
brought the construction crew some water and food.
They keep saying they're sorry there isn't much
for us to do," said Day. "It's OK. Helping
gives me such a happy feeling." Day started
volunteering in the afternoon Tuesday and when
she heard there could be a chance to serve during
the night she jumped at it. "They called
me in on standby and I came," she said. By
the time Day and Erickson finished they had about
two-and-a-half hours to sleep before class at
7:30. / Photos by Irene Gudmundson