UNION, NJ – A huge crowd of family, friends, neighbors, township officials, Union police officers and firefighters were all on hand on Tuesday when the big reveal of the Munt family’s home renovation project, initiated and managed by the NBC show “George to the Rescue”, took place.
“This is a celebration of everything this family has been through and moving into a new chapter with the support they have from their community,” said “George to the Rescue” host George Oliphant. According to their website, each "George to the Rescue" episode has Oliphant and his team of contractors and designers rescue the home of deserving people.
At the age of 46, Alex Munt passed away suddenly on Thanksgiving Day 2017, while playing outside with his son. Munt left behind Danielle, his wife of 18 years, and children Victoria and Harrison, ages 14 and 10 at the time.
The renovation to the cottage-like home near Washington School consisted of a transformation of Alex’s old first-floor office to become Harrison’s new bedroom; a complete update to the first-floor bathroom; renovations to and redecorating of Victoria’s upstairs bedroom; and the addition of a “she space” in what was once Harrison’s upstairs bedroom. The tranquil “she space” for Danielle and Victoria consists of a built-in vanity, a couch for lounging and relaxing, and additional storage.
“I thank all of you for coming today,” sand Danielle Munt. “It really means a lot to Harrison, Victoria and I. Thank you to all of you who have worked so hard to make our home our home again and creating new memories for us. Alex, I know, would be looking down on us today with such happiness.”
“This is a community coming together in the face of a tragedy,” said Union Mayor Michele Delisfort, who was on hand at the celebration. “The residents and community have formed a large circle around this family for support, care and assistance. It’s heartwarming.”
“It’s very rewarding to help people in the community,” said Vic Fiore of Union-based Magnolia Home Remodeling Group, who donated the construction supplies and labor for the project. “We’re honored to be a part of this.” Fiore said the work took five weeks. He said the family moved out of the home and into an Avalon Union apartment during the renovation.
Douglas Lanzo of Lanzo Plumbing and Sewer Contractors provided the plumbing needs for the project. “We’re happy to help out in this unfortunate situation. We like to give back and help people.”
“As Police Commissioner, I’m extremely proud of all of our officers for coming together here,” said Deputy Mayor Joseph Florio. “They are very interactive with our community. They go above and beyond what is expected of them. We have a great force here in Union.” Union police officers came together during the 2017 holiday season and made a special delivery of well wishes and gifts, selected specifically for each member of the family.
John Guempel, of Eii Inc., electrical contractors of Cranford, donated the electrical services. “Our emphasis has always been giving back to the community. We were asked to help someone in need. That’s what being a business in the community is about.”
“It really is the community of friends and family that were there from that awful Thanksgiving to today, and I know you’ll be here once “George to the Rescue” and the construction and design teams leave,” said Oliphant. “They are a wonderful family and I’m blessed to have met them.”
The “George to the Rescue” episode featuring the Munt family of Union will air on NBC on April 27 at 9:00 a.m. and again at 7:00 p.m.