Tuesday, September 1, 2015
1012 C Street  •  Floresville, TX 78114  •  Phone: 830-216-4519  •  Fax: 830-393-3219  • 

WCN Site Search


Lost & Found

*Includes FREE photo online! mywcn.com/lostandfound
Lost: Small black/white tortoise shell cat, 1-1/2 years old, Aug. 8, Country Hills area, La Vernia, friendly, "Cinnamon" but responds to "Kitty," rhinestone collar w/bell, shots, spayed. Reward! 210-725-8082.

VideoLost: Shih Tzu, male, golden brown, from C.R. 320 in Floresville. If you have any information call 210-452-1829 or 832-292-3305.
More Lost & Found ads ›

Help Wanted

IMMEDIATE OPENING: ACCOUNT SPECIALIST, fast paced finance company, reliable transportation, valid driver license, and car insurance required. APPLY DIRECT: WESTERN FINANCE, 540 10th St., #122, FLORESVILLE, TX.
Poppy's Barbecue in Stockdale is currently accepting applications for a cook. Apply in person at 301 S.H. 123 N., Stockdale, across from Lowe's Groceries. Call 830-996-1052.
More Help Wanted ads ›

Featured Videos





Video Vault ›
Richardson Chevrolet homeRE/MAX homeTNMC
You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.

Section A: General News


‘Welcome home, Harris family; welcome home!’


‘Welcome home, Harris family; welcome home!’
COURTESY/Morgan’s Wonderland/ Shilo Harris and his family have their breath taken away as their new home is revealed this past January.


E-Mail this Story to a Friend
Print this Story
Pascalle Bippert
WCN Correspondent
December 12, 2012
1,964 views
Post a comment

FLORESVILLE -- Maybe you watched last Monday’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” on TV and cheered with other area residents as a local family received a new home, custom-tailored to meet their needs.

The program brought back many happy memories for area residents, who saw the fruits of their labors brought to millions of TV viewers nationwide as the program revealed the home built for a local Wounded Warrior.

Working wonders

When Gordon Hartman, founder of Morgan’s Wonderland in San Antonio, received the proposal from ABC TV’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” last year to build a home for retired U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Shilo Harris, a wounded veteran, and his family, he was more than happy to do it. Hartman said that Harris is such an incredible individual for his service to our country and in his continued service to wounded warriors who are recovering from injuries sustained in the war. Morgan’s Wonderland became the first-ever nonprofit organization to handle an Extreme Makeover project.

The fully accessible fun park in San Antonio is dedicated to being involved with people who have special needs, Hartman said, and he was happy to be involved with the Extreme Makeover people, whose passion it is to serve those who need special homes in order to carry out day-to-day life.

Hartman said approximately 1,000 volunteers work on a typical building site for Extreme Makeover; the project for the Harris family drew 3,400 volunteers. The TV team and volunteers had a 108-hour window to build the house -- roughly 4-1/2 days from framing for concrete to opening the door to the family. Hartman coordinated all the builders, donations, news coverage teams, and food donations.

Once in a lifetime

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Kevin Brown, owner of Abrego Development Co., one of the building companies on this Extreme Makeover project, of this experience.

Brown said the building schedule was 30 pages long, taking the project from framing the concrete to turning the key in 108 hours. They managed to complete the build in 101 hours; that set a record. Part of their success was the good Texas weather. Brown said a crew building a home in Kentucky had rain every day during their build. The other key to keeping the build on schedule was how well the teams worked together. Instead of destroying the Harris family’s doublewide mobile home, Brown said, the crew pulled it off the site and auctioned it, with the proceeds benefiting helpingahero.org, a charity that works to assist veterans wounded in the war on terror. (See “Helping a Hero” for more information.) The proceeds helped the organization provide 10 more homes to other wounded veterans.

According to Brown, Jon Wayne Heating and Air designed the HVAC system for the home; this was very important, due to Shilo Harris’ delicate respiratory requirements.

The Extreme Makeover crew was very impressed with how the teams worked together, said Brown, who managed the night shift during the build. They said that it was the smoothest build they had ever had.

Night and day

Jeanine Schoenert, owner of D&D Custom Homes, was the project manager for the build and was in charge of the day shift.

When anyone came to her and asked, “Where do I go? Where do I take this? Where does this go?” she had to be ready to tell them exactly what needed to be done and where and when.

“I loved it,” Schoenert said. “It was an experience of a lifetime. Super hard work. It was the most important thing I’ve ever done.”

“The camaraderie was unbelievable,” she added.

They were all strangers when they began the job, she said, but by the end of the job it felt like they had worked together for 50 years. According to Schoenert, Hartman’s crew was unbelievable.

I told her that when I walked through the home, I saw so many people working on the drywall, it was like drywall ballet. All the movements were synchronized and they all worked in harmony.

A passion for special needs

Josh Gerstner, the building contractor for Gordon Hartman, said, “All my building is for special needs people. It’s my passion.”

He likes to help people. This was his first time building for Extreme Makeover.

“Most of us had never worked together, and after the week I felt like Jeanine Schoenert was my sister,” he said of his experience. “We called her ‘Mom’ because she kept all of us controlling, macho men in line.”

And she kept things running smoothly, he added.

Gerstner worked 20- to 22-hour shifts and kept his RV on the site so he could nap between shifts.

He said the Extreme Makeover team was fantastic. After seeing how the Extreme Makeover building schedule worked, he has adopted the same idea on every building project he does. He broke ground on a 5,000-square-foot house in early October and he’s moving into it already.

Friends old and new

La Vernia resident Gina Trowbridge worked on the home for two days on the 2-8 a.m. night shift. She also participated in the San

Antonio River Walk filming.

Trowbridge said she and her husband, Charlie, arrived on site the day they were framing for the concrete pour. She said they watched the workers smoothing out the concrete with trowels and the next thing they knew the workers were standing on it and the walls were being raised into place!

She served food and picked up trash every hour, but also got to do some “artsy stuff” -- spray painting some lamps and hand-painting some western village miniatures to decorate one of the rooms. While she was painting, Trowbridge looked up, and across the table she thought she recognized a woman.

“Do I know you?” she asked the woman, who responded, “Did you used to be Gina Means?”

“Carol?” Trowbridge asked.

Sure enough, these gals graduated from high school together in 1981 and had not seen each other since. Carol was there with her church team.

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to know that you are involved with people who were working toward a common goal of helping people who are so deserving,” Trowbridge said.

While working on the project, she kept saying to herself, “I can’t believe I’m out here actually doing the work on the show that I love to watch!”

Trowbridge met and got a photo taken with the show’s star, Ty Pennington, and was able to talk with him.

She and Charlie dressed in Christmas outfits, held signs, and waved flags during the River Walk filming, which was attended by 11 or 12 other wounded warrior families; unbeknownst to these wounded veterans, they were to be given keys to new houses through Helping a Hero.

Trowbridge said she cried so much she ran out of tissues, and when Lee Greenwood stepped onto the stage of the Arneson River Theatre to sing “God Bless the USA,” she really boo-hooed.

Family reunion

Kevin Brown hosted a reunion of folks who worked on the Harris family’s home Dec. 10 at the Kicaster Country Store near La Vernia. He said one of the guys from Colorado was planning to trek to Texas for the gathering.

Helping a Hero

Helping A Hero nominated Shilo Harris and his family for “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” This national nonprofit organization provides “... support for military personnel, severely injured in the war on terror,” according to www.helpingahero.org. “Our principal activity is to provide specially adapted homes for qualifying service members as well as engaging the community to provide services and resources for our wounded heroes and their families.”

The organization takes into account the special needs of the wounded veterans. For burn victims, they work hard to limit light entering the home. For quadriplegics, care is taken to allow for roll-in showers and wider doorways to facilitate mobility.

“It is truly an honor to build these homes for our heroes who are daily reminded that America cares and that we have not forgotten the sacrifice they made to protect our great nation,” the website states.

See Online Photo Gallery:
•Photos by Wilson County News Staff: http://www.InstantImageGallery.com/iig/a/254/263491
 

Your Opinions and Comments


Be the first to comment on this story!


You must be logged in to post a comment.




Not a subscriber?
Subscriber, but no password?
Forgot password?

Section A: General News Archives


Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Cities grapple with eight-liner issues (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Connally Memorial to open two clinics in near future (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Council proposes no tax-rate increase (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Court Update (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Don't argue about it (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. DPS: Obey traffic laws, use extra caution as new school year begins (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: Mexico fears Trump candidacy (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: Peeking behind Walmart’s promise to invest in American jobs (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: Thoughts on Iran (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Extension agents resign (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Falls City ISD: tax rate to jump (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Five vie for three Floresville seats (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Floresville ISD says average taxpayer will save $61 (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Floresville offers concessions to landowners (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Floresville operations director will focus on public works (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Getting ab smart (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. La Vernia trustees OK lower tax rate (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: It’s time to store the flag (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: We’re not all complicit (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Lower tax rate, higher utility bills await Poth residents (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Meeting Watch: Floresville Parks Foundation (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Meeting Watch: Wilson County Commissioners Court (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Meeting Watch: Wilson County Emergency Services District No. 2 (Eagle Creek area) (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Pregnancy center comes to La Vernia (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Rainy weather contributes to myriad vehicle crashes (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Residents revive organization to beautify Wilson County (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Road Runners clear first hurdle to receive Floresville funds (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. SAPD officer dies in La Vernia (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Selling land the old-fashioned way (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Tips to make camping with your pet an exciting experience (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Veterans Career Fair is Sept. 3 (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Welcome back! (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. What do Floresville residents want in city parks? (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. ‘Pick It’ football contest (August 26, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Accident takes life of local teen (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Alamo Call-A-Ride 4 Vets program (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Chamber meeting set for Aug. 31 (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Community remembrance vigil for Chief Pimentel (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Crash injures Floresville woman (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Deadline Aug. 24 to get on November ballot (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Digital Marketing Boot Camp in SA (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: Christians’ denial keeps Planned Parenthood in business (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: Debate questions more like ‘gotcha’ rather then serious issues (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: It’s time to free students from higher-education debt (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: ‘Climate anger’: Last refuge of the green activists (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Elmendorf may cut tax rate (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Estate planning for landowners (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Formal ballet school takes shape in Wilson County (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Help police to ID suspect (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. La Vernia council approves Porter as new city secretary (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: Disgruntled over FNES car-line changes (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Meeting Watch: Poth ISD board of trustees (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Meeting Watch: Stockdale EDC (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Meeting Watch: Wilson County Memorial Hospital District (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Meningitis vaccine required for college students (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Nehring turns herself in to authorities for livestock theft (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. No property tax-rate increase for Stockdale ISD residents, landowners (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Notes from the superintendent (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Officials work to ID burned body (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Oil and gas lease online sale nets $20M for public schools (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Otto Kaiser Memorial Hospital holds topping off celebration (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Police Blotter (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Roofing permit fee splits Floresville City Council members (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. St. Hedwig lowers tax rate (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Stockdale approves water resolution (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Tax increase possible for Stockdale-area emergency services (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. The best of three (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Workshop paves the way for better Floresville streets (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. ‘Meet the Teacher Night’ Aug. 20 (August 19, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. An analysis: Comment deadline nears for proposed water plans (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Burn ban back on for Wilson County (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Changes coming to Floresville streets (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Check out new LVISD app (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Christian Coalition hosts Bishop Williams (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Court Update (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. DA confirms Ortiz investigation (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Donate blood Aug. 18 (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: Could ‘The Donald’ be the Democrats Trump card? (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: Vote as I say, not as I do (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: We are at war! (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Feds offer $5M reward for ‘El Chapo’ arrest (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Floresville may sweeten agreement for annexation plan (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Floresville moves to streamline building permit process (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Floresville North new car-line procedures (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Floresville tackles employee sick leave (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Grants for nonprofits (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Kayak rescue (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Keeping Fido safe in the summer heat (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: Healthcare foundation president thankful (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: The good, bad effects of oil boom/bust (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Meeting Watch: China Grove City Council (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Meeting Watch: Floresville Economic Development Corp. (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Meeting Watch: Stockdale City Council (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Need a side income (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Oil slowdown spurs caution in budgeting for Poth EDC (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Police Blotter (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Police investigate suspicious activity (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Police seek four theft suspects (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Rangers arrest Nixon city manager (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Rangers search for suspected thief (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Sign up for vets job fair (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Stockdale council tables water opposition resolution (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Texas A&M honors John Burleson Sr. (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Thoughts on affordable housing, weatherization, traffic, more (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. What are ‘dog days’? (August 12, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Annexation baffles property owners (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. City manager discusses ‘Floresville effect,’ job, future (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Costlier health insurance hits Wilson County budget (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Cycle Ranch not ‘permanently closed’ (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Deadline to register for lay ministry program nears (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Dollar General to open north of Floresville (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: Documented irresponsibility (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: Doug Hughes: Protecting democracy from plutocrats (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: The media go gaga over certain political personalities (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Evergreen talks Cibolo Valley opposition (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. FEDC approves $10,000 for YMCA feasibility study (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. FELPS boss resigns (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. FELPS takes advantage of ‘Obamacare’ (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Fires scorch 80 acres (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Free wood chips (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Get your Feather Fest tickets (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Ice Cream Social is Aug. 14 (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. La Vernia housing plan gets OK (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: I’m for Scott Walker (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Public invited to ‘Topping Out’ celebration (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Questions loom over Floresville’s annexation (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Region L mulls recycled wastewater proposal (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. RV park owner sues Floresville, city council, county appraisal district (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Texas VFW allays concerns (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Three new athletic directors usher in changes (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Trustees promote Pruitt (August 5, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Your wake-up call (August 5, 2015)