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July 25, 2014

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Hundreds turn out for ‘Extreme Makeover’ pep rally

ABC show to build a home for a Las Vegas family in need

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Justin M. Bowen

A crowd gathers as “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” visited the Fremont Experience Tuesday to introduce plans for the upcoming week.

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

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Something unusual Tuesday afternoon drew the attention of passersby at the Fremont Street Experience: a billboard truck touting the arrival of the ABC reality show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" in Las Vegas.

An additional stage was set up between Fitzgerald’s and the Four Queens, and by Tuesday evening a crowd of several hundred had gathered to see the cast and crew of the show as they geared up to present a needy Las Vegas family with a new home.

The project will take two weeks, producers said.

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman helped to kick off the pep rally. He said it all started weeks ago with a phone call, when he was told a local family would get a new house and it wouldn’t cost a thing.

“And I said, ‘during these very challenging economic times, that would be terrific,’” Goodman said.

Despite the number of volunteers who attended Tuesday's pep rally, Wright Custom Homes still needs more help.

“Don’t stop volunteering,” said Daniel Bartlett, executive vice president of Wright Custom Homes, which will oversee the building of the home. “We probably have 500 skilled labor volunteers assigned to teams already, but we need lots more.”

Attendees were able to sign up after the pep rally in front of the Four Queens. Volunteers also can sign up at Wright Custom Homes’ Web site.

Las Vegas resident Jennifer Sauberan is one of the volunteers. She said she learned about the show coming to Las Vegas because she had served the show’s producer at a local restaurant.

“I always watch the show so I was really excited to wait on them … I asked them, ‘how do I get to volunteer? I want to help,’” she said.

The local family will be revealed March 10 with the demolition of the house taking place two days later. “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” airs at 8 p.m. Sundays.

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