HWS’ Mark on the Makeover – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

HWS’ Mark on the Makeover

Everyone in the Finger Lakes and Upstate New York region knows that ABC’s “Extreme Edition: Home Makeover” is in Geneva. Soon the entire nation will know as well. But what few know is the role Hobart and William Smith played in the process. Before the barricades went up around William Street and hundreds of Geneva residents gathered to watch from across the street and long before bulldozers came for demolition, the Colleges were involved. In fact, the Extreme Makeover story began with an article written by Colleges Global Education Program Coordinator Doug Reilly. Reilly’s article was featured in “Geneva13,” a magazine dedicated to local Geneva culture, and told the story of Tim and Michelle Hill’s Geneva Boxing Club. “The boxing club is a defiant attempt, against the odds, to do for a few young people what the system fails to do for many: provide hope, guidance, and a structure in which they can reach their potential,” Reilly says. All of this in a location called “the dungeon” with stripped walls and rough-shod conditions. One of Reilly’s readers was Geneva resident, Vicky Durette, an acquaintance of the Hills who heard an open call for “Extreme Edition: Home Makeover” while she was reading the article. Durette nominated the Hill’s, and the rest is…reality TV. Ever since Ty Pennington and the entire Extreme Makeover crew arrived in their blue and orange T-shirts and white hard hats, HWS have continued to lend a hand in the makeover. The Colleges’ staff and faculty have been providing a steady stream of help with everything from cleaning out the current house to making donations to the Hills. Among those volunteering on the site were Associate Director of Advancement Services Nicole Trickler, Biographical Research Assistants Carol Meiggs and Wendy Barnhart, Prospect Research and Acknowledgment Coordinator Judith Ortiz, Director of Parent Relations Kerry Cassell, Postal Clerk Mary Ellen Huffman, Senior Research Specialist Lillian Collins, and Gift Account Administrator Beth Pier. With all of these hands involved throughout the process, HWS are sure to leave their mark on the custom-built and brand new “Extreme Makeover” house that the Hills will return to after a trip to Cancun provided by the show during the demolition and rebuilding. Looking back on the series of events leading up to bulldozers and camera crews in Geneva, Reilly says, “Ultimately, it’s about one Geneva resident helping out another. It’s a great story of collaboration.” The top photo of Ty Pennington with the Hill family was provided by Gabrielle Plucknette of the Finger Lakes Times.