FANWOOD, NJ — Nearly 100 friends and neighbors of Sally and Andy Davis anxiously awaited the big reveal of the family's brand new kitchen Monday, remodeled by "George to the Rescue," a weekly national home improvement show on NBC. Michael Robert Construction in Westfield, Ella Allure Design Center in Downtwn Westfield and Westfield Lumber and Home and Center were among local businesses that contributed to the effort.
George Oliphant and a team of contractors and interior designers search the country and rescue the homes of deserving people. The Davis's had long been fans of the show.
"One day I was talking to Tina Fairweather about Thanksgiving and that our oven was too small to make a holiday meal. We sometimes would use a neighbor's kitchen," explained Sally Davis. "Tina wrote a letter, submitted pictures, and explained our situation. We didn't hear anything for a while, so we forgot about it. A year and a half later, we it happened."
Over spring break, the Davis's received a call from producer Andrew Bank, who wanted to meet the family. He came during Easter break and met with the couple and their children, Audrey, Bridget and Matty, who told them he loves when Sally bakes. It is a challenge because both Matty and Sally have celiac disease and require gluten-free diets.
"When George first showed up, the girls screamed like he was a rock star. We were in a state of shock when they got here," Sally Davis explained. "They asked what kind of kitchen we liked. I didn't really know. We like the idea of being inside but feeling like it's outside, which is why they put in more windows."
As part of the process, the Davis's had to leave their home for three weeks. They stayed with Andy Davis's brother in Morristown for a week and later at the Grand Summit Hotel. Meanwhile, the family's summer activities (swimming, babysitting, school for Matty) continued.
"Anyone who knows the Davis family knows they are an amazing group; not just Sally and Andy, but their daughters, and their son, Matty, is an inspiration," said Oliphant. "He has this way about him that is infectious. You meet him, and just fall in love."
"When you see them, their attitude towards things, and their approach to life, you want to be able to help them," Oliphant added. "What I'm able to do with my show is help people like them."
While the Davis's vacated their home, the show arranged for the family to visit the New York Rangers training camp with Rangers legend Adam Graves on July 7. As part of their Garden of Dreams Foundation, they will host the family at a game next season.
"George to the Rescue" producer Andrew Bank thanked the following contributors:
- Michael and Ellie Mroz, of Michael Robert Construction (Westfield)
- New York Rangers
- Grand Summit Hotel (Summit)
- Reno's Appliance (Paterson)
- The Bath Connection (Fanwood)
- PID Floorings (New York)
- Stone Surfaces (East Rutherford)
- Darby Road (Scotch Plains)
- Thibaut Wallpaper (Newark)
- Westfield Lumber and Home Center
- Azzam Ezmat (Wayne, NJ-based designer)
- Ella Allure Interior Design Center (Westfield)
"There's so much love in the house. Matty loves having people around, and he's had a lot of challenges," said producer Andrew Bank. "They are really a special family and very appreciative."
"George to the Rescue" is shown on several NBC affiliates across the country, including WNBC-TV/ ch. 4 in New York. The episode is expected to air sometime in October.