In early September 2011, a Medford family who had done so much for the community got the makeover of a lifetime. ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition came to Southern Oregon to give a home makeover to the McPhail Family, who live near Medford.
The McPhails were recommended to the TV show by a close friend, Matt Sampson, who was involved in Sparrow Clubs, an organization that recruits local school students to help other children suffering from severe medical problems. A huge part of why the McPhails were chosen for Extreme Makeover is their role in Sparrow Clubs.
In addition to Sparrow’s Club, the McPhails also hope to raise awareness about autism. Two of the McPhail children have autism and their new Makeover home is designed to help accommodate the boys’ sensory and development needs.
Thousands of Southern Oregon volunteers pledged their time and effort to make the Extreme Makeover a success. Different volunteers listed a number of different reasons to sign up for the Extreme project. Some were fans of the show, some watched other volunteers and wanted to get involved, others just wanted to give back to the community. Some volunteers were unemployed and said it felt good to volunteer. The construction site saw more than 3,000 volunteers over the course of the week.
Ark Built Construction led the quick build and designed the home for the family, while the majority of what fills the inside of the McPhails’ new home is from Gates Furnishings in Grants Pass. Everyone involved worked to create a custom home with a special touch for the McPhails. A lookout tower was welded together over several weeks at Pro Weld. It was escorted down Highway 62, before being perched high above the home.
Between restaurants, windows, plumbing, excavation, and everything else, it’s estimated that more than 500 businesses donated their time, talents, and supplies. It’s hard to put a dollar amount on it, but at least one and a half million dollars was donated through man-hours and resources from local companies.
The McPhail family says they are still getting used to living life as some kind of celebrities. So if people want to stop by and take a look at the house, they say they’re okay with that. After what the community did for them in building a new home, the McPhails say they will be forever grateful.
Unfortunately, the McPhails will be one of the last families to receive help from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. ABC announced in 2011 that the TV show was being cancelled; the last episodes aired in January 2012.
View NewsWatch12’s special coverage of the Extreme Makeover event in Southern Oregon in the video below: