'Extremism' we agree with

Imagine the can-do spirit of ABC show thriving in Augusta year-round

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So you saw the show, right?

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition volunteers paraded to the home of Earnie Graham in Augusta on Dec. 2. About 4,000 helped in the project.  JACKIE RICCIARDI/FILE
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition volunteers paraded to the home of Earnie Graham in Augusta on Dec. 2. About 4,000 helped in the project.

Augustans saw the churn of activity in December when ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition swooped into town to work its magic on a family in need of a new home.

Viewers here and nationwide got the "big reveal" Sunday evening when the show finally aired, and you could feel the energy through the screen. It splendidly documented how Earnie Graham and her two children got a wonderful new three-bedroom home on McCain Way in their Belle Terrace neighborhood.

But the TV show built much more than a house. It built a stronger confidence within our community that great things can be accomplished when we reach out to one another.

We should all build on that.

There's an aspect of the TV show ABC doesn't trumpet: The legions of workers who descend on the work site during the episode aren't just focused on one family's home. During the work week they take over the whole neighborhood, offering to make repairs on surrounding properties.

And boy, did they in Belle Terrace. New shingles. New siding. New mailboxes. Window repairs. Chimney repairs. Re-sodded yards.

That's not Hollywood magic, either.

ABC will be the first to tell you it's not in the business of building homes. It manufactures entertainment. It merely facilitates what is carried out by the thousands of local volunteers -- who share the love, absorb the spirit of giving and make the real magic happen.

And that magic doesn't have to leave town just because the ABC trucks did.

Thankfully, it hasn't. Stephen Beazley of Bill Beazley Homes was sapped to exhaustion during the frenetic Extreme Makeover experience. He also called it "the greatest experience of my life." If there's another accomplishment in his life that comes close to it, he can't think of it.

Not that he has the time. Since Extreme Makeover, Beazley said he intends to start a charitable foundation to help fund more of these kinds of amazing projects.

And he's just one person. About 4,000 volunteers helped culminate the Miracle on McCain Way. Imagine Beazley's selfless ambition multiplied by 4,000, and spread through the parts of Augusta that need it most. Imagine projects with the energy of Extreme Makeover happening year-round, fueled by armies of caring citizens.

ABC helped plant a seed in Augusta during its visit last month.

Now it's up to Augustans to help it grow.

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seeingmuchclearer 01/24/11 - 11:48 pm
A great story, problem is the

A great story, problem is the IRS will get their part of the 300,000 gift.

Riverman1 01/25/11 - 06:03 am
The cynics were plentiful,

The cynics were plentiful, but all those people turning out to help is a great example of altruism right here in River City.

Cadence 01/25/11 - 07:23 am
There are a lot of old or

There are a lot of old or disabled people whose neighbors complain about (don't keep their grass mowed, etc) when it would only take couple of minutes for them to zip over on their riding mower and cut it. Or give them a call next time you go to the store and see if they need a few things. Does their faucet drip and your hubby is a whiz at replacing washers? Things like that can help so much. It leaves you feeling good and the recipient is so grateful. Imagine if the whole city took care of each other (not in an entitlement check way but in a neighbor helping neighbor way) Many many already do and there are true angels among us. I will put my money where my mouth is and today I will look for one opportunity to do a good deed.

dani 01/25/11 - 01:40 pm
That house cost $300,000?

That house cost $300,000? Tell me you are joking.

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