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Farragut grads get ‘Extreme’

Rena Amerson has a Farragut High School connection that’s quite “Extreme,” while practicing the habit of giving extensive time and effort to others in need.

“I went to high school with one of the girls that works on Extreme Home Makeover [Karen Daniels], and she’s the employee of Extreme Makeover that gets to take them on vacation,” said Amerson, a 1977 FHS graduate and one of hundreds of volunteers helping ABC Network’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, which came to West Knox County last week.

“And I’m involved with the Knoxville Chamber and we had a volunteer list of who wanted to get involved,” added Amerson, marketing director with Zillman Company, about helping with construction of Daniel and Mandy Watson’s home and duplex. The duplex houses Restoration House, the Watsons’ home for underprivileged single mothers off Robinson Road near Middlebrook Pike.

“Being in construction, I knew I wanted to be involved.”

Steve Sayers, a Farragut resident and 1974 FHS graduate, is owner of Polymaster, Inc. His crew of “four or five” had a 2 a.m. appointment, Friday, Jan. 13, to apply roughly 5,000 square feet of foam insulation to the Watson’s new two-story home and duplex.

“It’s a cool time right now around Knoxville,” Sayers said, adding his church, Cedar Springs Presbyterian, is associated with Restoration House.

“It seems like a lot of the ministries and the churches are all pulling together to do things for each other and making things happen. It’s just a neat time to be part of it.

“We consider it a servant-type thing to do.”

Located at 10523 Lexington Drive, just off Lovell Road, Polymaster, Inc. and Sayers became involved thanks to “a number of our customers who have done Extreme Makeover homes in the past. We got a phone call [saying] ‘we’re going to do one right there in Knoxville, would you all be interested?’” he said, adding the project took between “four and five hours.”

Daniel Watson labeled the seven-day reconstruction of his two-story home — which he admitted had an “crumbling” foundation — “unbelievable, it’s surreal.

“It’s very humbling,” he added. “Mandy and I have invested a lot of our life into single mothers and their children.

“And now to know that a community is investing back into our family, I mean it’s extremely humbling. … It’s amazing to see a community of people coming around our family.”

The Watsons and their three adopted children — Atley, 7, Ava, 6, and Silas, 2 — were whisked away to a seven-day vacation in Florida, then returned Tuesday, Jan. 17, to enter their new home and witness the single mothers and their children enjoy their new duplex, located behind the home.

For more, see Community.


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