Cloudy skies didn’t stop hundreds of Long Islanders from turning out for Alure Home Improvements’ pep rally for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition last night at Suffolk County Sports Park in Central Islip.
Sal Ferro, President of Alure, hosted the rally, which was not only a celebration of the show’s seventh season, but also an open casting call for local volunteers to help with Alure’s partnership with the show in rebuilding a house to help a Long Island family in need.
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The event kicked off with a crowd-wide chant of the show’s catchphrase, “Move that bus!” and the excitement built up from there.
The Press’ own publisher Jed Morey was the first speaker of the night, stressing the camaraderie of Long Islanders. “Our center of gravity is the spirit of the Long Islander,” Jed said proudly before introducing Ferro onto the field to speak.
Once Ferro took the mic, the rain began to pour, but he assured the crowd that a little shower was not going to stop the ceremony. “Rain doesn’t stop us from building these houses, and it won’t stop this pep rally,” he said as the audience erupted in applause.
Ferro spoke about Alure’s long history with the show, and the process leading up to their eighth home building collaboration. After working on several homes in New York and New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, Ferro wanted to bring the show back to Long Island. “When they asked me to do another show, I told them we’ll do it under one condition…bring it back to Long Island,” said Ferro.
He also touched upon the main theme of the night, which also happens to be the lifeblood of the show: community.
“Alure leads the build, but it takes a community to make it work,” he said.
John Hampson, lead vocalist from the local band Nine Days braved the rain to perform the group’s hit “Absolutely (Story of a Girl)”. Local talent Something Fresh performed earlier in the night, revving the crowd for what was to come.
Milan Vasic, Senior Producer of the show likened the home makeover process to the community barn raisings of the 1900s. “It takes a community,” he said.
Vasic also touched upon the inner workings of the show, explaining the producer’s needs for things that many of us don’t even think of, including food and water for the crew, service donations, and space donations.
Long Island Ducks Owner Frank Boulton and Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy also showed their support. “They not only build homes–they makes dreams,” Levy said of the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition team.
Although the episode featuring Alure won’t air for a few months, be sure to tune into ABC every Sunday at 8 p.m. to watch Ty Pennington and the rest of the crew on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
For specific information on the build schedule, volunteer sign-ups, donations and sponsorships, visit www.alure.com and follow Extreme Long Island.