Fans of ABC’s “Extreme Home Makeover” are familiar with the cry, “Move that bus!” and the tears of joy and gratitude that often follow as the finished home is unveiled to the deserving homeowners.
The reveal of an “Extreme Roof-Over” on her home may not have been a production of epic proportions, but for Oregon homeowner Sheri Ulinski, the feelings of joy and gratitude were something she’ll never forget.
Over the past weeks, Sheri’s co-workers at Teledyne Turbine Engines in Toledo, along with her family and friends, have been working together to put a new roof on Sheri’s home at 1917 Garner St.
She and her husband Eddie, who passed away after a long battle with cancer in late August, had looked into replacing their deteriorating roof, but were not in a financial position to get the job done, though Sheri works and Eddie took part-time work as a security guard after his pension from Doehler-Jarvis was cut in half.
After Eddie died, Sheri planned to take money out of her 401(k) to replace the roof.
The idea for the “roof-over” was conceived when a co-worker noticed a leak in the porch roof at Sheri’s as he was attending a celebration of Eddie’s life after his passing.
When he approached fellow Teledyne employee Ron Rasey with concerns about Sheri’s roof, they discussed finding a way to make repairs as an act of kindness to their co-worker.
Rasey had done some roofing work in the past, so he set up a time to go take a look at what needed to be done.
“When I saw it, I didn’t feel good about just fixing the porch,” he said. “The roof was two thirds of the way gone. To do the job right would require replacing the whole thing.”
After taking measurements and making a trip to the lumberyard, Rasey came up with an estimate of about $1,800 for the project.
“Sheri had taken money out of her 401(k) to pay for the roof, and we all agreed that was just unacceptable, especially since she was already having trouble making ends meet,” Rasey said.
So her co-workers came up with a plan to pay for the project for Sheri, whom they described as “a hard-working woman who dedicates the majority of her free time to helping others.”
They held fund-raisers, including a bake sale, weekly 50/50 raffles and a spaghetti dinner fund-raiser benefit.
“It was unbelievable to me,” Sheri said about the roof-over project.
“Eddie and I had talked about fixing the roof,” she said. “We had gotten one estimate that came in at $28,000 – there was no way we could afford that,” she said. “It’s very humbling to see my co-workers, family and friends come together like this - we really do live in a wonderful community.”
The strength of her support system has also helped her deal with the recent death of her father, she said.
“It has been tough, but I believe God gives you the strength to get through the tough times,” Sheri said. “I also believe everything happens for a reason. Going through my husband’s death has helped me help my mother cope with her loss.”
move that Russ!
Not only will Sheri have a new roof to remind her of how much she’s loved and admired, she’ll also have a “Extreme Roof-Over” video, being produced by Rasey, aka, “Ty Ronnington.”`
The humorous spoof on ABC’s “Extreme Home Makeover” will provide a low-budget, tongue-in-cheek chronicle of the re-roofing project, which was set for Nov. 8 and 9.
Though he’s not a professional videographer – his last film was made in high school – Rasey is familiar with what Ty Pennington and crew do when they do an “extreme makeover.”
A Lucas County Deputy Sheriff, he volunteered at the build site when the show came to Toledo in September to construct a new home for Toledo firefighter Aaron Frisch, his wife Jackie and their 11 children. It’s an experience that he described as “the neatest thing I’ve ever done.
“We had guys (from the Lucas County Sheriff’s Department) who originally planned to volunteer a few hours and who ended up working 10 to 12 hours the entire eight days,” he said.
His story line will loosely follow the “Extreme Home Makeover” format, Rasey said.
For example, for the big “announcement” scene where Sheri is told that her home will undergo a “roof-over,” the script called for her to be greeted by Ty Ronnington in her frumpy bathrobe and hair curlers.
While “Extreme Home Makeover” families are treated to a trip to Disney World, in the spoof, homeowner Sheri will supposedly be whisked off to a FEMA trailer in the woods behind Maumee Bay State Park. Unfortunately, she’ll have to share the trailer with a family of raccoons.
The script calls for various mishaps and missteps during the project, as well as the discovery of the Lindbergh baby on Sheri’s roof. (For those who may not know, the kidnapping of Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr., the toddler son of world famous aviator Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, in 1932 was among the biggest news stories of the day.)
And for the reveal, there will be no bus to move. There will, however, be a guy named Russ standing on a mechanic’s creeper in front of Sheri’s home. When it’s time for Sheri to see the finished project, the crowd will yell, “move that Russ!”
As a memento of the experience, Rasey plans to edit it into a final version and make copies for everyone who participated.
“This was definitely a team effort,” he said, crediting the “porch roof rebuild team,” led by Dan Davenport; the re-roofing catering team, led by Katie Clausius; the fund raising team, led by Lorraine Plantz; and the filming team and the re-roofing team, which he is overseeing.
So will Ty Ronnington and the Extreme Roof-over crew finish the job?
To make a donation to help with the re-roofing project, send checks payable to Sheri Ulinski, 1330 W. Laskey Rd., Toledo, OH 43612, Attn: Payroll.
“The ultimate goal is to have a little left over to help Sheri out with her expenses,” Rasey said.
Good morning, Sheri Ulinski! The Oregon resident, (who can only be described as a good sport for dressing up in her hair curlers and frumpiest robe), was the recipient of an “Extreme Roof-Over” by her co-workers, family and friends. The project was captured on film in a spoof of the “Extreme Home Makeover.”