'Extreme Makeover' builds for Girl Scouts
Friday, December 10, 2010
Posted by: jennifer punch
Retrieved from: http://chronicle.augusta.com/latest-news/2010-12-07/cabin-makeover-surprises-official?v=1291768727
Earnestine Graham has enjoyed her fair share of surprises lately.
Officials from ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition showed up on her doorstep Thursday announcing that they would rebuild her south Augusta home, while she and her children -- Tiffany, 22, and Timothy, 10, went to Disneyland in California.
But Graham was left speechless when the series officials showed her the new cedar log cabin that was constructed at Camp Tanglewood, a Girl Scout camp in Martinez.
"There's nothing but love here," said Graham -- who goes by "Earnie" -- as she got out of a limousine at the camp to a large group of cheering Girl Scouts.
Graham is the product sales manager for the Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia's Augusta-area council and oversees the retail shop, office and cookie program,
"Oh my goodness, this is beautiful," Graham said, when she saw the cabin, built to replace the one destroyed by fire in June.
The cabin, built by a Canadian log home builder, was constructed from cedar trees downed in a forest fire.
"What she gets here will serve not just to encourage her, but it will be a gift to girls for generations," said Debbie Caballeros, the counci's marketing and communications officer.
Caballeros said show officials learned of Graham's passion for Scouting and wanted to include the camp in the project. If the choice was between her own home and something for the Scouts, Graham told show producers, she'd rather see a project help the girls.
"That's the kind of person she is; she's extremely sacrificial," Caballeros said, adding that the new cabin is accessible by the handicapped. "Our girls with disabilities will be able to use our entire camp from there. They'll have the full camp experience when a lot of times, they couldn't do that."
In front of the cabin, crews built a fire ring with log benches and picnic tables decorated by Scouts.
The show stocked the camp with new camping gear including tents, sleeping bags, coolers, bicycles and kayaks.
Graham expected to see her new home this week but never thought she'd have a new vehicle in the driveway. She emerged from the cabin to a 2011 Ford Explorer. She was speechless as she watched volunteers unload more camping gear from the SUV.
"The children can fit in here," she said, pointing to the back door with fold-down seats. "Cool!"