Friday, January 13, 2012

EM:HE Thanks

Here’s a quote from Senior Producer Diane Korman –

“Stephens College Interior Design Department Faculty and Students were a dream come true. Heart, soul and masters of design, the team worked 24/7 to organize and oversee the seamstresses who made the window treatments, bedding, upholstered projects and pillows. We couldn’t have been more pleased with their hard work and dedication to the project.”

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Beyond the Classroom: Life Skills at Work

Amber Miller (Fulton), Aubrey Miller, Erica Gaw, Emily Ricketts, Amanda Smedley, Melissa Fredericks, Katlyn Lee (Fulton) Sarah Frost, Stephanie Hall (Fulton) Jessica Grenke.

When Interior Designer and former Fulton High School teacher, Shelly Vincent-Masek  heard that Extreme Makeover:  Home Edition would be building 7 homes in 7 days for families left homeless by the May 22, 2011 E5 tornado that devastated Joplin, Missouri, she immediately volunteered.   Masek, a 1990 graduate of William Woods University, began working with EMHE in August and by October she had organized a team of more than 30 volunteers to journey to Joplin and work with Design Producers of Extreme Makeover Home Edition.  Shelly was a Team Leader for the customization in the 5 of the 7 homes constructed in the October 2011 build.  In addition to organizing and coordinating the construction and customization of the project design and installation, Masek and her team completed numerous special interior projects which will be revealed during the 200th and last regular season episode of the Emmy award winning Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Friday, January 13, 2012.
Currently an instructor at Stephens College in the School of Fashion and Design, Masek was accompanied by 10 Stephens College students, two of which were former students of hers at Fulton High School.  Amber Miller and Katlyn Lee, both 2011 graduates of FHS were instrumental in designing special projects for several of the homes the teams worked in.  “I knew that Katlyn and Amber had to be a part of this amazing opportunity.  The success of our involvement was going to weigh heavy on our preparedness, talents and ability to work well with others.  There was no doubt in my mind that I could count on both women under any circumstance.  I also had the advantage of knowing how talented and creative they were, firsthand.” 
At a time when schools across the United States are cutting Fine arts and Practical arts programs, Masek, former FACS and art teacher had this to say: “I believe we underestimate the importance of teaching Life Skills and the arts to our youth.  It’s disheartening to know that there are schools that don’t take these departments seriously.  Not only were Amber and Katlyn able to use what they had learned in their sewing and art classes at Fulton High School, but they actually found themselves in positions where others were dependent on their particular skill set to pull together key projects.  They were actually able to do what others could not.  As a teacher, it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life watching my students work side by side with professionals and do such an outstanding job! “
Looking back on the overall experience of working with the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Masek notes:  “From the beginning, I was certain this project would have a profound impact on the lives of the families we would be building homes for; however, I underestimated the significance that it would have on my own.  I had hoped this journey would help students discover the power of generosity, give them a glimpse of behind the scenes activity, provide them the opportunity to learn more about customizing interiors, and allow them to share their time and talents with others.  My hopes were far exceeded. “
If you take time out of your busy schedule this Friday evening to watch the final episode of Extreme Makeover:  Home Edition keep in mind the 13,000 volunteers who hand in heart worked 24 hours a day to complete the largest construction project the show has ever done.  Know that what you see on television is only a fraction of what actually took place.  Behind the scenes people were coming from all over the world to be a part of this amazing experience.   People who believe that volunteering is a responsibility, not a choice worked with smiles on their faces even though it was an emotional struggle at times to deal with the aftermath of nature’s wrath that in 32 minutes changed so many lives forever.

"You make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give." Winston Churchill

ABC’s Emmy-award winning reality TV show, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition announced in August that the show’s October Joplin project would build seven homes in seven days for families who suffered losses in the May 22, 2011 tornado. Thousands of people in the Joplin area and from across the country donated time and materials in the massive effort to help rebuild a part of the devastated community.  Numerous volunteers discovered the power of generosity as they participated in this build as well as continued clean-up efforts.  Messages were painted on the sides of buildings as a testament to the heartfelt gratitude the residents of Joplin have for the thousands of volunteers who have worked tirelessly for months.

Rebuilding Joplin Together Bigger Better Stronger

Volunteers from all over the world came together to help rebuild Joplin, the Heart of America.  Thanks EMHE for the opportunity to be a part of such and amazing experience!

Will they make the cut?

Look for these familiar faces in the 200th episode of ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Friday, January 13th, 2012.  Volunteers Aubrey Miller (Columbia), Amber Miller (Fulton), and Jessica Grenke (Centralia) smiling for the camera as they work onsite during filming. 

Art Feeds My Soul

Sunday night, October 23, 2011

Shelly Vincent-Masek, Aubrey Miller, Amber Miller, and Emily Ricketts with hands on one of the special projects they worked on during the October 2011 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Joplin Build.  Check out Art Feeds or "Friend" them on Facebook.  Find out what amazing work this organization does around the world.

Leaving a Mark for Cunningham Park

Saturday afternoon, October 22, 2011

Katlyn Lee leaving a message on the posts used in the reconstruction of Cunningham Park, thousands of volunteers left their mark in more than one way during the largest build to date for EMHE. (Amber and Aubrey are in the far left background, Emily Ricketts is beside Katlyn and Erica Gaw is photo right.)

Sarah Frost

Amanda Smedley, Emily Ricketts, Erica Gaw and Melissa Fredericks

Ty Drops by to Say "Hi"- Happens All The Time! Right?

Extreme Makeover:  Home Edition host Ty Pennington with Amber Miller prior to "moving that bus" and revealing Home #7.  (Note the skateboard in one hand.  Watch Friday nights episode if you want to know what that is all about!)

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Stephens College Interior Design Students Sarah Frost (Rolla), Stephanie Hall (Fulton), EMHE host Ty Pennington, Shelly Vincent-Masek
It was wonderful to have Stephens senior ID students Sarah Frost and Stephanie Hall on our team in Joplin.  These two officially volunteered to assist team leaders Shelly Vincent-Masek and Vicki Wren.  They dedicated an entire week of their time, juggling classes, jobs and family responsibilities to make sure that our work was completed properly and on time.  What an experience in teamwork and leadership for them! 

Stephanie was the most amazing assistant, from setting up our mobile office, answering email, coordinating meeting times, finding product or supplies we needed, keeping Stephens College informed of our activities and emailing the design producers...scanning, name it, she did it.  May not sound like glamorous work but it was vital to our success, especially since our workroom was in Carthage and the build was in Joplin.  Saved us many hours driving back and forth!

Multi-tasking at it's finest!

Gonzalez-Ely Family

Sunday, October 23, 2011
Shelly, Aubrey, Amber, and Emily outside Home #7 which features a hand-painted wall custom designed by Amber Miller and Melissa Fredericks.  Additional mural work in this home was designed by Erica and Melissa.  The "rookie muralists" worked night and day to complete this project for the Gonzalez-Ely family.  First time painting on a wall, first time to ever use scaffolding!  If you ask them about it will hear them say "no more circles!"

Aubrey, Amber and Emily started work on Sunday night, and thankfully, Erica and Melissa were able to come back from Columbia and help them finish!  (And do more work, right Erica?)  I am not sure a what point Aubrey started wiping paint on her t-shirt, but apparently once she started there was no stopping her! LOL! 

We didn't see much of the newly appointed muralists after Sunday evening because the workroom in Carthage was busy wrapping up last minute requests and replacing the volunteers who could only stay for the weekend with new volunteers.  The painting crew stayed onsite with design producers until they were finished and shared a hotel room in Joplin when they needed to rest.  I was so proud of their work and their willingness to help out.  They put in countless hours of work!

There were a few perks...