Local Builder Selected to Appear on ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition"

The appearance is contingent on finding a local, deserving family for the new home.

The television show, "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," could be coming to this neck of the woods, and it has selected The Fusion Companies—based in Annapolis—to be its go-to builder.  

One thing though—Fusion needs a deserving person or family in the area before any of this can happen.

"If we don't find a family, we don't have a show," said Wes Sims, president of The Fusion Companies, which is located on Prince George Street. "Nothing happens until that's crossed off the list."

Fusion is utilizing social media to spread the word that they need a deserving person or family. 

If you haven't watched the show before, families who have given of themselves, who may or may not be dealing with physical, emotional, environmental or financial issues and who would greatly benefit from a new home are among those frequently selected.

Ideally, the sooner, the better for identifying a family.

"We would like to build in the fall," said Sims. "From a logistical standpoint, it's easier to build when it's not hot and not freezing."

Sims said they've also talked to "people at the Naval Academy and some people at the Wounded Warrior Project." Though he said Fusion is not counting out any deserving families, there is some focus on the U.S. military.

"We've pushed our attention to find a local military family," explained Sims. "As a company, we have a lot of interest in giving back to the armed forces—we have a pretty long family Naval history."

He then brought geography into play.

"Annapolis—right?" said Sims.  "My grandfather was a submarine captain in World War II and was a graduate of the Class of '42."

How did all of this come about for the three-year-old company?

"We participated on one of their builds in the past," explained Sims.

One thing you should know about The Fusion Companies—they specialize in eco-friendly/green building projects. 

"To help on the Virginia Beach project, we donated a 10-year carbon offset in the name of the family," Sims said.

Ways You Can Get Involved

If you want your 15 minutes of fame or in this case, 60 minutes less commercials, there are plenty of opportunities to be on the show and do a good deed at the same time.

Fusion will require a lot of community support to help build the home.

"We need a lot of skilled trade people to volunteer—carpenters, plumbers, electricians," said Sims.  "Everyone it takes to finish a house in a week."

Yes, you read that right—a week is all the time given to build a house from the ground up.

That said, Fusion needs a lot more help.  An "incredible" amount of help, said Sims.

"From the community, it helps to have people that will dedicate some time to logistical support —moving things around, preparing meals for the crew and tradespeople on the job site and general maintenance, as well as just being part of the process, providing energy and motivation," explained Sims.

Having first-hand knowledge, Sims said it's an experience like none other.

"The best part of being on a build—just being able to be a part of it," he said. "It's an incredible, personal experience.  You quite literally get an opportunity to change someone's life—it seems Hollywood, but it's very real for the family."

That plus, it can rally a community.

"Volunteerism and participation in the community is the biggest gift the show gives," said Sims.

Diane Korman, senior producer of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," concurred.

"'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition' is all about neighbors helping neighbors and community coming together," she said, in an email. "It takes thousands of volunteers to come together and build a house in a week. Its critical to find a builder who will waive their fees and work for free. Every nail, stick of wood and piece of furniture will be donated to help a deserving family. It's more than a show, it's about changing lives."

First Lady to Appear in Upcoming Episode

Even the White House seems to have taken notice.

According to a release issued this week by ABC, "As part of her Joining Forces initiative, First Lady Michelle Obama will participate in an "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" episode featuring the Marshalls. Barbara Marshall is a 15-year Navy veteran who is working to end homelessness among female veterans. Barbara created The Steps-N-Stages Jubilee House which provides homeless female veterans with housing and support services. Mrs. Obama and the "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" team will help build a new Jubilee House that can serve multiple families and act as a resource center for female veterans."

According to the statement, the episode, being filmed in North Carolina and featuring the First Lady, will air in October.

Since this area is a lot closer to the White House then North Carolina, had the thought occured to Sims that this might be a great opportunity to invite the First Lady?

"I hadn't thought about that, but it sounds intriguing," he said.

Even though Fusion is located in Annapolis, the participating person/family can be from the surrounding area.

"Since Fusion Homes is based in Annapolis, MD we’d like to find a family in their community, but we are also open to homes within a 30 mile radius," said Korman.

If you know a deserving person/family, follow the instructions on the PDF file accompanying this article to nominate them.  

For more information about the Fusion Companies or to volunteer your services, visit http://www.thefusioncompanies.com or email info@thefusioncompanies.com.

Audrey Gross July 22, 2011 at 05:25 PM
Mrs. Evelyn Turner, age 83, resides in Shady Side, MD. She lives in a house that's 65 years old and does not have heat. She has been using kerosene heaters for approximately 15+ years. She suffers from severe arthritis and several other illnesses. Her kitchen and bathroom are not "user" friendly. She has to turn side ways to get between the stove and refrigerator in order to get to her sink. She does not use her tub because she's afraid of slipping. My mother is well loved by both the older and younger generation. She has been known to prepare food for bereaved families as well as those who are sick or may be down on their luck. I would love for you to consider my request. Blessings, Audrey Gross (daughter)
Rick Whitaker July 22, 2011 at 10:47 PM
I would love to be able to help out as a volunteer. My children and my husband and myself watch the show faithfully and would love to help a deserving family. Please let me know how we can sign up to help. Adele Annapolis Md
Molly July 22, 2011 at 11:20 PM
The YWCA of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County operates Arden House, the county's only domestic violence safe house shelter serving 300 women and children annually as they seek refuge from a violent situation. Imagine the exponential effect of creating a home environment meant to allow for job skills training, therapy, recreation, and family dinners as these great families rebuild their lives. The majority come with literally only the clothes on their back. We have great ties to the community and amazing volunteers ~ it would be amazing! With this many individuals (up to 21 in 7 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms), imagine the opportunities for green building techniques, gardens for use in the kitchen, energy generation, etc. It would also be a great learning experience for the community.
Donna L. Cole July 23, 2011 at 03:07 AM
Audrey and Molly - I encourage you both to follow the instructions on the PDF (you'll see it at the top of the article, near the photos) to apply. Seems like a fairly straightforward process. Adele - to volunteer your services email info@thefusioncompanies.com
Lynn Harmeyer August 10, 2011 at 01:47 AM
Annabelle Cotton, an upcoming 4th grader at Shipley's Choice Community is nominating the Butler family from Glen Burnie. The Butler family consists of Mom, Tonya, her four daughters and Anthony - a 4th grader, who attends Shipley's Choice Elementary School who was born with Cerebal Palsy. This family is living in a home that is not at all equiped to handle Anthony's needs. Jasmine, his 12 year old sister, has to carry Anthony from the car, up stairs to enter his townhouse and then up the stairs to bathe and to his bedroom. Tonya, his sister who is 22, recently moved out of the home because her husband is stationed out of San Diego and is being deployed this November for nine months. Tonya, Anthony's sister, has always been a huge help to the entire family, but now that her family is stationed in San Diego, she splits her time from Anne Arundel County (to assist with Anthony) and San Diego before her husband leaves her and her 1 1/2 year old to be deployed. Annabelle Cotton, a classmate of Anthony's has asked Anthony's mom if she could nominate their family and is in the process of completing the required video and paperwork for submission to Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. ~Lynn Harmeyer @ harmeyer6@gmail.com
Heather Lucas August 10, 2011 at 02:16 AM
I am Anthony's teacher and would like to say that he is an amazing little boy. Even after everything he has been through in his life (such as falling from his wheelchair and knocking out teeth at the end of the school year), Anthony has a smile that lights up a room. He is cheerful, sweet and caring. Anthony is very popular with his classmates, and thus has been nominated for this incredible opportunity. I know with the support of the very strong Shipley's Choice comminity, we can make this happen for a very deserving little boy!
Melinda Spaar August 11, 2011 at 10:47 PM
I nominate a wonderful family, full of faith and love. The parents, Anne and Matthew (Duke) Clements, are very spiritual people, always relying on their faith and love of God to get them through trials that other people would not be able to work through. Their children are: Gabriel (3.5 months), Naomi (2 yrs), Micah (5 yrs), Daniel (7 yrs, almost 8), Elijah (10 yrs), and Andrew (12 yrs). Duke is in the US Air Force and also ministers his faith. He performed a beautiful service for my wedding. Anne suffered a heart attack last year and recovered while taking care of her 5 children. They found out they were pregnant with Gabe and had to be very careful with her heart condition. Thankfully he was born a month early with little complication. Naomi was diagnosed with intracranial tumors over a year ago (I think) and has been battling the disease with chemo and multiple surgeries. Throughout all of these trials, the family has been more concerned with the health and well-being of everyone around them. This month, they were in a car accident through no fault of their own, totaling their car and making transportation to the hospital for treatments more difficult. Please take the time to meet with them in consideration for the show. You will fall in love with them, as many of us have. They have many family and friends that would be more than happy to put in the blood, sweat, and tears to help you make their dreams come true. Melinda Spaar, DVM melinda.spaar@banfield.net
Mary McGuirt August 11, 2011 at 11:58 PM
Thank you all for your comments and stories. Please keep the nominations coming by following the instructions on the PDF attached to this story. We hope that a deserving local family is helped through the process!
Jaime Hilliard August 16, 2011 at 12:23 PM
I would like to nominate the Cisco Center of Severna Park for special needs children. Cisco Nocheras, a special need teacher, center for special needs children suffered a fire in February 2010 and they have been struggling to re-build the center. It would be such an incredible service to the community and these children to bless them with such an incredible gift of an EXTREME HOME MAKEOVER re-build. This would help so many families. Please view the attached link http://www.ciscocenter.org/FIRE_RECOVERY.html http://www.ciscocenter.org/About_Us.html http://www.ciscocenter.org/Photos.html Thank you, Jaime Hilliard
Roy Evans October 22, 2011 at 08:26 PM
Yes, my name is Roy Evans, I like your show extreme home makeover. Just want to know how to apply to be a extreme home makeover builder? Thanx, Roy Evans


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