Penn State Mont Alto students volunteer with 'Extreme Makeover Show'

November 13, 2008

Penn State Mont Alto forestry students got a taste of Hollywood life on Wednesday (Nov. 12) when they volunteered as part of  the landscaping crew for ABC’s "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."

The Emmy award winning show, which airs on Sundays on ABC, chose to demolish and rebuild the Drumm family home, located approximately 15 minutes from the Penn State Mont Alto campus. Dan Ryan Builders is the main contractor for the house and numerous area subcontractors and community volunteers are lending their hands and supplies to complete the 2,500-square-foot home in just 106 hours.
Penn State Mont Alto forestry faculty members were asked a week ago if their students could help with landscaping projects around the house.
"The students wanted to help, and we were happy to give back to the community," said Penn State Mont Alto forestry instructor Craig Houghton.
The students worked with landscaping contractor Barrick and Sons Landscaping, Walkersville, Md., to trim trees, lay sod, plant flowers, lay landscaping stone and clean leaves and debris from the site. Between $30,000 and $40,000 of supplies were used for the landscaping.
Houghton said the students did a week’s worth of landscaping in four hours. He added the sod will have to be watered frequently to help the roots grow and attach to the soil.
"Our forestry program has always been a hands-on program," said Holly Cieri, coordinator of publications and promotions for Penn State Mont Alto. "I know that our students really appreciate every opportunity to work in ‘real-world’ settings. At Penn State Mont Alto, we think it is so important for students to experience service learning. Having the opportunity to serve others while still practicing career skills gives our students a fresh perspective on their future occupations."
Sophomore Kevin Braun, 19, had the opportunity to climb a tree and trim dead limbs to ensure that the Drumm family would have a safe yard when they return.
Ethan Bradley, 19, of Lebanon said helping the Drumm family was “neat” because the students often do lab work at the Waynesboro Watershed and knew the family didn’t have much.

"We knew they didn’t have it the best," he said. "We're really glad to help."

"It's a chance to do something good," said sophomore Mark Mizak of Russell.
"How many times in a person's life can you say you were a part of something like this?" asked Mark Porambo, 20.
In addition to the forestry student volunteers, Penn State Mont Alto sent 10 volunteers to help overnight on Wednesday night and an additional 10 volunteers Thursday night.
The Drumm family  — Matthew, Blasia, Ben, Donnie and Nathan — are visiting Walt Disney World this week while volunteers rebuild their home in South Mountain. Their former 900-square-foot, one-story home was demolished Saturday night and the Drumms will be able to yell “Move that Bus” Friday as they see their home for the first time.
Penn State Mont Alto students plan to be on hand for the Drumm’s return to the area Friday.
  • Kevin Braun, 19 of Lewisberry, climbs a tree at the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition site Wednesday

    IMAGE: Holly Cieri

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 18, 2010