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Extreme Makeover: Brown

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Courtesy of Brown Sports Information

Christmas came early for the Silvia Family of Warwick, Rhode Island, thanks to Extreme Makeover- Home Edition, which aired last night in ABC-TV. Eric Johnson P `05, the president of Oldport Homes in Portsmouth, was the primary builder of the house, designed by Blount Bennett Architects of East Providence, Rhode Island. Johnson elicited the help of the Brown football team and about 200 volunteers on the project that included contractors, subcontractors, neighbors, strangers and city officials.

Doreen and Kenny Silva have two children of their own, plus three adopted children, all with disabilities, and two foster infants. The family had outgrown their Cape-style house of about 1,000 square feet that contained dangerous levels of lead paint.

When the ABC show, Extreme Makeover - Home Edition, discovered the family's plight, it was an easy decision for the ABC Show, who selects a needy family for each episode, to come to the rescue.

The plan was to send the Silva Family to Disney World for one week for their first ever family vacation. While the Silva's were away, their home would be completely demolished and a new home would be constructed at the same site in the span of 106 hours.

In a race against time, a team of designers, hundred's of workmen and even the neighbors, had just seven days to completely demolish and rebuild an entire house - plus the exterior and landscaping for a deserving family nominated by friends and family. Normally, the two-story, 2,900-square-foot New England shingle-style house that will be built for the Silva's on Yucatan Drive would take six to eight months to complete.

The house was rebuilt in February, and the show aired on May 4, 2008. The work was all completed on time and a grateful Silvia Family have been living in the new home, continuing to be a beacon of light for the foster care program in America.

- A.S.