Otterbine Barebo, Inc. a leading provider of aeration and fountain systems, has joined ABC’s Emmy award winning program “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (EMHE) to donate two of their most energy efficient aeration systems to the Urban family in Hamburg, PA. The episode, air Sunday October 24, 2010 on the ABC. The show is dedicated to using environmentally friendly building materials, techniques and technologies in their renovations. The Urban home incorporates green technologies such as solar panels and windmills for renewable energy, rainwater harvesting for irrigation, and sustainable water quality solutions such as aeration.
Matt Davenport of Watkins Architect Firm called Otterbine’s Marketing Department to inquire if Otterbine would assist with a distressed pond for an ABC’s Extreme Home Makeover project in Hamburg, PA. The Otterbine team was very excited to get the call and set an appointment to go and evaluate the pond. Carla Ott, President, went on site the next morning to find the pond 50% covered with algae and in need of help. Based on the configuration of the pond, the need for aeration and aesthetics, and low energy consumption – Otterbine donated and installed an Air Flo System 5 and a ½ HP Fractional Deluxe package.
Trisha Urban’s story is one of significant challenge as are most of the stories presented on the show. She and her husband Andy were married and living in an 1800’s log home in Berks County, PA that was in need of considerable repair. They wanted to restore the property and had decided to take on the challenge even though her husband Andy Urban had survived brain cancer and had lived with a congenital heart defect his entire life. The couple as most young couples had also dreamed of having children one day but had been told they couldn’t due to other health circumstances related to Trisha.
In 2008, Trisha and Andy were astonished and excited to find out Trisha was pregnant. The story from this point takes a tragic turn when on February 4, 2009 fate had other plans. Trisha went into labor and Andy went outside to feed the animals and lock the gates never to return back to the home. She found Andy, lying dead in the snow at their front gate. Less than 9 hours later, Cora was born without a loving Father to welcome her into the world. Tragedy had struck, but it did not stop there. Because of Andy’s heart condition he could not get proper health insurance and because of this Andy and Trisha had acquire insurmountable debt. To make matters worse only Andy’s name was listed on the deed, mortgage and cars; and there was no Will. Friends and family of Trisha started raising money to help her pay off the debt and buy back what was already hers, Jeff Woytovich founded “Helping Care for Cora,” and with the help of many key people and a generous community Trisha was able to buy back her home and car from Andy’s estate. Woytovich stated, “It was a strong community, loving family and a core group of volunteers, strangers and friends that made it all possible.” A year and a half after the tragedy everything is almost done, except one thing; a single mother and baby are living in very challenging conditions. Woytovich went a step further and decided to send Trisha’s story into the Extreme Home Makeover show to see if they could help; and within a short period they called with the exciting news that the Urban’s had been selected for an Extreme Home Makeover!
The Home Builders Association of Berks County took the lead role of coordinating the build. The family was treated to the traditional Disney World vacation often given to families during the build process. Then the “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” team lead by Ty Pennington, designers Leigh Anne Tuohy, Paul DiMeo and Tracy Hutson, the Home Builders Association of Berks County and the entire community built a home for this deserving family.
The Otterbine team did a fantastic job from the point of the initial call, to manufacturing units to the actual placement and installation. Carla Ott – President, Chris Barebo – VP of Manufacturing and Glenn Ott did the actual install. “Otterbine is honored to have been asked to participate,” states Carla Ott, President of Otterbine, “we’re a small family business who is fortunate to have a team of generous people with strong values that are eager to help those in need – it was amazing to see everything come together; the stars of the show, volunteers, and companies that donate do a phenomenal job in what seems like an impossible undertaking.”
A special thanks to Chris Barebo and Glenn Ott for taking their personal time to assist with the installation, in addition to several volunteers and onsite electricians that did a fantastic job helping dig trenches and get power to the equipment.
Carla Ott said of the experience; “overall, it was amazing to see a house and landscape come together in such a short period of time. The build was recorded as the fastest build in the state of Pennsylvania and the second fastest build in the country. This happens because ABC and the designers of the show generate excitement bringing in volunteers from all around the community.”