‘Once-in-a-lifetime community effort’
From Staff Reports
Downpours, cold temperatures and mud didn’t stop employees of Maryville-based Rainscapes from helping a Knoxville family during their “Extreme Makeover Home Edition” experience.
Sarah Hedstrom, of Hedstrom Design, contacted Rainscapes President Clint Allison to encourage him to get involved.
Allison immediately jumped at the chance to be a part of the “once-in-a-lifetime community effort” to help create a beautiful home for Daniel and Mandy Watson, founders of Restoration House, a nonprofit organization that provides single mothers housing, mentoring and advocacy to become self-sufficient.
The Rainscapes team spent four days installing a state-of-the-art irrigation system for the Watsons and donated $2,500 worth of equipment and material to the family during the weeklong build in January. Eight of Allison’s employees also volunteered and donated their time on-site.
“It was the least I could do,” said Allison. “The work the Watsons do for our region will have a positive impact for generations to come.”
One of Allison’s most amusing memories of the experience was meeting the Watson’s 7-year-old son, Atley.
“He told me, ‘Don’t mess up my yard!’ to which I replied, ‘Yes, sir!’” said Allison. “We were also treated to an impromptu concert by Jenny McCarthy, Laurel Wright and members of the design team, which was a treat.”
In honor of the show’s debut Monday night, Allison and his wife Lori will host a small viewing party for their employees.
“We’re keeping it simple and using it as a ‘thank you’ to our employees who worked in less-than-ideal circumstances, but got the job done anyway with a great attitude,” said Allison. “It’s amazing to see how many thousands of volunteers from the area donated their time and talent to creating a beautiful place for the Watson family to call home.”
The episode will air at 9 p.m. on ABC. In the episode, actress, author, activist, entrepreneur and single mom Jenny McCarthy will guest star on the design team.
Other Blount County-based companies that lent their expertise for the build include Hickory Construction, East Tennessee Land Surveyors and KH Consulting.