"Extreme Makeover" pep rally draws hundreds - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

"Extreme Makeover" pep rally draws hundreds

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By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The Robert E. Lee High School band got some help from the Apache Belles-- pumping up the hometown volunteer crowd, Thursday morning.

Billie Coker lives in Tyler. She said she's a big fan of the TV show and was one of the first volunteers to arrive at the event.

"[I] sit there and cry, and watch [the show], and never dreamed I'd get to see something happen here," she said.

"We can do so much in our community, but, sometimes we need a push, " said Yvette Barns.  She took off from her job and drove in from Longview for the event.

The pep rally was a chance for Extreme producers to share their experiences, and let volunteers in on what it takes to pull off an extreme build.

"It shows the heart and soul of this television show, and how it evolved," said Milan Vasic, senior producer.

One of the first things volunteers saw was a video clip of the show's first 100 builds which had some in the audience crying...again.

"I think most of these people are here for the right reasons," said country artist, Neal McCoy, who performed a song, New Mountain To Climb.

"[The song] is about staying positive...about how you can climb up those mountains and over to the other side if you just believe," said McCoy.

Gary Bayless and Joe Runnels said they were amazed by the response.  The two co-own Bayless Custom Homes, Inc.  They're responsible for building a house in 106 hours--roughly one week. 

"I felt really touched by what I saw," said Bayless.  "It made we want to get started right now."

"We're going to show everyone else in America that we are the best," said Barns.

Ty Pennington and his team are expected to surprise one of five deserving East Texas families in one week.

The Extreme team still needs hundreds more volunteers - both unskilled and skilled.  Plus, we learned they have an urgent need for oil field mats for the job site.  Click here to find a list of what the Extreme team really needs.

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