'Home Edition' site is where Toledo's heart is

9/11/2008
BY JANET ROMAKER
BLADE STAFF WRITER
The walls start going up on the site of 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.' From 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. the rest of the week, the public is invited to visit the site, where volunteers are collecting donations for the Frisch family and for Hope for Haiti.
The walls start going up on the site of 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.' From 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. the rest of the week, the public is invited to visit the site, where volunteers are collecting donations for the Frisch family and for Hope for Haiti.

Connie Krum can't sleep. Her heart is about to explode.

"They simply won't believe this when they get home," she said, keeping a close eye on the swarm of workers hammering together a new home for Mrs. Krum's daughter, Jackie Frisch, and her family.

Mrs. Frisch; her husband, Aaron, and their 11 sons were shocked, and pleased beyond words, when they learned Sunday that they had been chosen for the ABC reality show Extreme Makeover Home Edition's 128th build.

The new home replaces the Frisches' ranch home at 6044 Edgedale Circle, just east of Secor Road and north of Alexis Road.

Last night, the 106-hour building project was about two hours behind schedule. Crews were pouring concrete for the basement and framing was well under way. Plumbing, heating, and electrical work will begin today.

Throughout the day yesterday, as swarms of spectators arrived by shuttle buses, some people started snapping pictures before their feet hit the ground.

At the construction site, cameras popped up almost in unison whenever there was a celebrity sighting. "Rib! Rib!" chants were heard when designer Rib Hillis came into view.

Designer Paul DiMeo had plenty of adoring fans in the crowds as well.

People plucked pens from pockets, and turned their backs to the designers, hoping for quickly scrawled autographs on their T-shirts.

Family and friends of the soon-to-be occupants of the home watch the construction activity from a neighboring rooftop.
Family and friends of the soon-to-be occupants of the home watch the construction activity from a neighboring rooftop.

At the rear of property, behind a pile of dirt, neighbors parked themselves on lawn chairs and watched as Bobcats prowled the property, scooping up stones.

Karen Wyckoff, a Whitmer graduate who moved from Toledo to Texas 20 years ago, heard about the project from one of her best friends, Marcy Palmer, whose property abuts the Frisches' land.

"She called me on Saturday and said 'You gotta come, you gotta come'," Mrs. Wyckoff said.

She thought about it, but couldn't figure out how to make it happen until Monday, when she was talking to a client who works for an airline.

"I'm a hairdresser and I do her hair every Monday morning. She offered me a pass to fly to Toledo and an hour and a half later, I was packed and on the way."

Her friend took down a portion of a wooden fence to provide an open area for watching the nearby action.

"People are coming by, knocking on her door at 11:30 p.m., asking if they can come in her backyard," Mrs. Wyckoff said.

At a nearby tent, scrambling to keep on top of every detail being dished out to scores of volunteers, Lynda Kalucki of Sylvania, food services coordinator, scrawled notes to herself on the palm of her hand.

She estimated 7,000 meals will be served before the crews pack up and move out after the reveal on Sunday.

Wings, hot dogs, and chicken chunks are on the menu during what she calls the "2 a.m. feedings," dinner time for the folks working through the wee hours.

As she explained prep plans, Marcia Rubini breezed in, toting taste-tempting treats. A Realtor from Sylvania, she came carrying homemade brownies, chocolate chip cookies, and frosted cupcakes.

"I was here at midnight last night, and the guys were all asking for something homemade, something sweet," she said.

Other treats are on tap. More than 100 dozen chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies, made by consumer science students yesterday at Leverette Middle School, will be delivered to the work site this afternoon.

Mrs. Krum predicted she wouldn't gain a pound even though plenty of food is available. "I'm losing water from shedding so many tears," she said.

As she talked, she kept her eyes focused on the new home for her daughter's family. She seemed to be memorizing every move made by the scores of workers who were wearing the coveted blue Extreme Makeover shirts.

"This is all so awesome. Just so awesome," she said.

The other night, for one minute, she took a call from her daughter.

"All I could hear was her sobbing. I told her I couldn't hear what she was saying, and she started to cry even louder," Mrs. Krum said. "For me, it's unbelievable. It's too awesome for my heart."

The project has tied knots around the heart of the local community.

At the ISOH/IMPACT donation table near the construction site, volunteers loaded four 50-pound bags of rice onto a pickup truck that already was groaning under the weight of other donated materials, including used clothing, personal hygiene supplies, and shoes and sandals.

The donation drive was inspired by the Frisch family's adoption of five boys from Haiti and the recent storms that have ravaged the impoverished nation.

Donations will be transported to Florida, where the Frisch family, on vacation at Disney World, will present the items to Hope for Haiti.

Area residents interested in making donations to assist the Frisch family can purchase gift cards, such as to bookstores, or MasterCard or Visa cards that could be used to supplement the new home's furnishings.

The Frisch family will return to a two-story, 4,000-square-foot, five-bedroom, five-bath home.

The work site will be open to the public from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. the rest of the week. People can take the shuttle buses from the Banner Mattress parking lot, 2521 West Alexis, to the site.

A throng of jazzed-up spectators is expected at the site Sunday for the wildly popular "Move the Bus" reveal, set for sometime between 1 and 4 p.m. When the big bus bugs out, the family will see their new home for the first time.

Among the Sunday spectators will be Amanda Jo Pomeroy, who yesterday afternoon fretted about missing her classes at the University of Toledo.

She's crossing her fingers, hoping her professors believe her excuse for being absent.

"I told them that Extreme Makeover Home Edition has taken over my life," she said. "I think they'll probably go 'What? Really? That's a new excuse.' But I have lots of pictures to prove it. I can show them."

Ms. Pomeroy lives in the cul-de-sac crawling with carpenters and camera crews as the new home is constructed for her neighbors.

There's been a lot of noise, tons of strangers trampling across her property, and a bit of frustration, but "there's been lots of cool stuff too," she said.

"I have celebrities running around my driveway."

Contact Janet Romaker at:

jromaker@theblade.com

or 419-724-6006.