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Deaf School Haunted House Meets ABC's Extreme MakeoverTim King Salem-News.com
Good news in lean times about Oregon's School for the Deaf and ABC's help in rebuilding the 'Nightmare Factory' - their single largest annual fundraiser.
(SALEM, Ore.) - Final Week coming Friday the 22nd The Oregon School for the Deaf presents the new EXTREME version of Nightmare Factory
I first experienced the Oregon School for the Deaf's Halloween 'Nightmare Factory' in Salem, when I was a fairly new staff member at KATU, the ABC station in Portland, Oregon.
I remember being so impressed with the ability of these students to overcome their disabilities, that I knew I would be a fan for life.
It was great to learn that the school's special annual exhibit will be the subject of an ABC network Extreme Home Makeover episode. The student body and school staff were notified Monday afternoon, that they would receive a new building and that the Oregon School for the Deaf would be the subject of an episode in this hit series.
It is encouraging that anything so positive could take place with the national and state economies sagging as they are. This is a project that is created and operated by students, educators and community members. It was already great, now it will be more incredible than ever.
As KATU reported this week, everyone from parents and students, to current staff and alumni at the Oregon School for the Deaf are excited following the announcement that Extreme Makeover Home Edition is going to provide a facelift for a promotional and fun aspect of this important school that serves extremely talented and diverse students with a range of hearing impairments.
Local parent Tina Miller had a daughter at the Deaf School for several years. "Amber was back helping with the haunted house shortly after graduating. There is really something great about that school, the kids have a bond with it that continues past graduation and they always want to be a part of it."
She told Salem-News.com the facility plays a more important role in this community than some people realize, and she was very pleased to hear of this new expanded awareness through the ABC program.
The show's Ty Pennington and his team of designers will join forces with hundreds from the local community to bring this rebuild of the school's haunted house to reality.
The annual 'Nightmare Factory' event is the biggest fundraiser for the Oregon School for the Deaf. If you have never entered the 12,000 square foot basement in October you are missing out. It should go on your 'must do' list for this year.
One problem with the existing haunted house, was a set of concerns tied to safety. Rich Duncan Construction has taken the lead role for the project and the owner said in a media statement, that he is excited.
"I am humbled to be a part of something so important in the lives of these kids."
Rich Duncan says the project will have a lasting impact.
Local Bend Photographer Chosen to Document Event
A former colleague of mine was selected to Photograph “School For the Deaf” as part of Donation to ABC Network Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
Bend, Oregon photographer, Julia Kelleher, photographed over 20 children and 8 teaching staff members in a whirlwind, time-sensitive effort to help build the Salem School for The Deaf in less than 7 days, as part of the ABC hit show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
Kelleher was selected by ABC producers from a pool of outstanding photographers from all over Oregon and will head to Salem, OR Monday Sept 6th.
Oregon residents might recognize the name Julia Radlick, that was Kelleher's name when she worked as a weather anchor at KATU. We worked on many stories together and I always knew her as a top quality reporter who could easily move from the weather set to a serious news story and never miss a beat. Her new photography career is an exciting new direction that is bringing both recognition and success.
To help rebuild the school, Kelleher will donate approximately $5-8,000 in portrait art to help decorate the school.
The images will feature the children and staff with the goal of inspiring their studies and creating a better learning environment as they attempt to overcome their hearing impairments.
The school was notified Monday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. that they are the recipients of a new building and subject of this hit series.
At that point, Kelleher had less than 3 hours to photograph the children and will help design and create their portrait display- without even seeing first where it will go!
In less than one week the Extreme Makeover team will build the school to reveal it to the children and staff Sunday, Sept 12th when it is complete. The show is tentatively scheduled to air Halloween weekend.
Thousands of contractors, laborers, craftsmen and women, along with dozens of businesses across the state have geared up to help donate to the project.
Kelleher was selected out of large pool of talented photography applicants.
Kelleher is the PPA National Photographer of the Year, and an international award winning portrait artist with her studio based in Bend.
She specializes in photographing families, newborn babies, dogs and high school seniors. For more information visit: jewel-images.com.
United Rentals Supports the "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition"
Equipment rental company United Rentals is working around the clock in Salem this week, where employees are providing construction equipment and services to “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”
The project is part of United Rentals’ fourth year of partnership with the award-winning television show, which has relied on the industry leader for equipment and volunteers on more than 75 new home constructions.
The project to benefit the Oregon School for the Deaf, where the boys’ dorm is in urgent need of renovation, comes at a much needed time. The United Rentals branch in Salem is organizing the delivery of more than 70 pieces of equipment to the site, according to John Patrick, branch manager.
"The Oregon School for the Deaf really is like a family serving other families," Patrick explained.
"The student body lives on campus where they need a safe, comfortable environment so that they can focus on their studies. We’re making that happen with our construction equipment, aerial lifts and supplies, using a team approach to pull in any extra resources we need."
Diane Korman, Senior Producer of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" said, "United Rentals comes through for us every time, despite the challenges of weather, timing and logistics. Their professionalism in serving these jobsites shows that we made the right choice in relying on United Rentals for our equipment needs."
Rigo Martinez, a student at the Oregon School for the Deaf, thinks of the administrators and students as his second family.
Rigo’s own family is entirely deaf and lives 45 miles away from the campus where his sister also attends classes. Recently, the boys’ dormitory was deemed seismically unsafe, jeopardizing the school’s annual Halloween fundraiser and putting its future at risk.
Thanks to “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” the Oregon School for the Deaf will soon have a new boys’ dormitory and their “Nightmare Factory” fundraiser will be bigger and better than ever, allowing them to help more students like Rigo.
Here is a report filed Monday by KATU's Melica Johnson and Photojournalist Gino Corridori:
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