WELLMAN, TX (KCBD) - The house is built and in place, and now workers and volunteers in Wellman are working to furnish the dream home for the Brown family.
The TV show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition surprised the Brown family on Monday telling them that they were going on a trip to New York and would return to a brand new home.
The Brown's lost their daughter Alex last November in a texting a driving accident, since then, they have traveled the country telling people to BUST or Buckle Up and Stop Texting.
"I walked around the house and read the things people have written and said about Alex and she obviously was an incredibly lady," said Leigh Anne Tuohy, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Designer.
The crews have worked around the clock since the Brown's left for their New York trip. "We worked all night, none of us have slept," said Maury Kennedy, Vice President of Sales and Marketing with Palm Harbor Homes.
The volunteers are working in 12-hour shifts to get the trailer house the Brown's used to live in ready to be sent to Habitat for Humanity. Friends, family and the stars of the hit show wished the Brown's old home goodbye while keeping the memories of Alex Brown close. "They deserve it a lot. They've worked with this B.U.S.T. deal trying to get the entire state of Texas to get the message
"[Alex] was going change the world or die trying. Apparently she's had it backwards because she died and now she's changing the world because of it," said Michael Moloney, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Designer.
Palm Harbor Homes, the volunteer builder for the show, says building them a place to live is one thing, but helping support the Brown's mission means more. "Eleven kids die every day in America while texting and driving. So the overall involvement was a quick decision for us," said Kennedy.
The Brown's tragedy has turned into a journey to share their daughter's story and tell others to "B.U.S.T.", a campaign that has touched many lives, including the stars of the show.
"I text and drive and I'm as guilty as the next, but I won't do it any longer. So if nothing else, my life has changed because of this," said Tuohy.
The new house is nearly 3,000 square feet. KCBD NewsChannel 11 was allowed inside the house on Friday, but only if we left the cameras outside.
The house came in five modules by the truck load. Volunteers from Palm Harbor Homes, the West Texas Home Builders Association, and local construction companies worked all night bricking roofing, and adding a stunning front entrance with spiral wooden columns.
We're told the new home is about 2,700 square feet, with a garage, and some special rooms that will not be revealed until the show airs. However, Michael Moloney, one of the designers on the hit show, said there will be a coffee space because the Brown family enjoys drinking a cup-of-joe in the morning.
Designers were out around Wellman gathering everything from couches to artwork Thursday. We're told the big reveal for the family will happen Monday between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. when the Brown's get back from their vacation in the Big Apple.
A mural is being painted in Alex's sister's room by Whiteside Elementary art teacher Dawn Green. The mural will be revealed to the family on Monday. On Tuesday, approximately 40 Lubbock High School students from the International Baccalaureate program will assist with the cleanup activities in Wellman following the home presentation.
Also this weekend, the Texas Tech Landscape Architecture Department will be putting in the landscaping, which they say is drought resistant.
The home will be revealed to the Brown's on Monday.
Palm Harbor Homes has set up the Alex Brown Foundation to help the family fund their mission, don't text and drive. If you donate $100, Palm Harbor Homes will give you a VIP pass to see the home up close and personal. They say that even $1 counts. The money goes to help get the house for the Browns in shape with supplies and furnishings. The web address for the foundation is www.rememberalexbrownfoundation.org.
Spectators can come watch the construction and filming of the show anytime from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.
The designers of the show need the community's help. They are in need of some supplies. The supplies can be dropped off at the check-in tents just east of the football stadium in Wellman. They need:
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