Belmont Abbey College hosts 'Extreme Makeover' pep rally
BELMONT — Hundreds of Belmont Abbey College students flocked to the Wheeler Center on the Belmont Abbey campus Dec. 1 to get fired up for the upcoming "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" build that will take place in the Charlotte area on Dec. 11-17. Joining in on the evening's presentations were leaders of Belmont Abbey College, Bellamy Homes and Endemol USA, the producers of the popular television show.
Belmont Abbey College, in partnership with Bellamy Homes, "Extreme Makeover" and other sponsors, will rally around one local family to build them a new, safe home. The project will require more than 3,000 volunteers.
Dr. William Thierfelder, president of Belmont Abbey College, said that when the college was contacted about this opportunity he didn't know anything about the show personally, but after speaking to people about what "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" does for families, he knew that it was divine providence.
Pictured above: Students at Belmont Abbey College wait for the pep rally to get underway at the Wheeler Center. (SueAnn Howell, Catholic News Herald)
"It's Christ's direct call, to help those in need. We were approached with this opportunity, so I took it as Christ's divine providence that maybe this is something we should be involved with...To me this about our mission here. The Benedictine spirit has always been to help people in need...the monks have always done that here at the college...I really see this as an extension of their charism."
Bellamy Homes partners Frank Hereda and Wade Miller thanked the students and others gathered at the pep rally for their excitement and interest in making a difference in one family's life.
"We're so thrilled that you came out tonight... We're going to build an entire house in one week... It's your efforts that are going to get this done," Miller said. "It's amazing to me how fast we're going to get it done.
"We hope that these extreme things are going to lead to extreme feelings inside of all of us and we'll take that spirit and go out and impact the community."
Helping to energize the crowd were Otis from 95.1, the Chris Lane Band playing hit music, the South Point High School Marching Band, some of the TopCats (the Carolinas Panthers Cheerleaders), and the LadyCats (the Charlotte Bobcats dance team).
"Extreme Makeover Home Edition" is an Emmy award-winning reality program which airs Fridays from 8 to 9 p.m. EST on ABC.
The show's producers and popular host Ty Pennington will surprise the winning family with a knock on the door Dec. 11. Until then, no information is being disclosed about who that lucky Charlotte-area family is.
For more information about how you can volunteer or help contribute resources to help the family, go to www.bellamyhomes.com.
— SueAnn Howell, staff writer
Students excited to have "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" on their campus
BELMONT — Freshman Ashley Martin arrived two hours early to the pep rally at Belmont Abbey College to welcome the crew of ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," hoping to catch a glimpse of the show's famous and energetic host, Ty Pennington.
Pennington wasn't able to attend, though – much to the disappointment of Martin and the other Abbey students in the crowd of 200-300 people packed inside the Wheeler Center Dec. 1.
Nevertheless, the enthusiasm of the crowd, from both students and the wider Gaston community, was apparent.
Students said they were excited that their college is hosting the Bellamy Homes crew and they are gladly volunteering to both help build and raise funds to construct a home for one needy family in the area.
Five families in the Charlotte area are being considered for the show, and the winning family will get a knock on their door from Pennington on Dec. 11.
"I think it's very cool," Martin said. "I plan to volunteer for the build."
Victoria Jensen, a sophomore volleyball player at the Abbey, sold T-shirts and wrist bands at the event.
"All the sports teams are doing something different to help. All proceeds go towards building the house," Jensen said.
While some students said they are thrilled for the opportunity to work behind the scenes for the makeover, others are simply happy that the small Benedictine college is becoming more widely known outside of Gaston County.
Sophomore Anthony Wyatt, contributor to the student-run newspaper "The Crusader," praised the "breadth of support" the college was receiving from the local community.
"I am excited because this is bringing people to see Belmont Abbey College. All of Belmont Abbey is out here, Gaston County is here," Wyatt said.
-- Charlie Jackson, intern