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South Williamsport, PA
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Creating Corlew’s Castle

Undoubtedly, the 1999 movie “The Long Road Home” was not on the minds of the Corlew family as the Rick Quigley-led motorcade made its half-hour trek from Williamsport’s downtown Genetti Hotel to the peaceful surroundings of their Rauchtown home. Still, for the 2021 winners of the Chrisman’s Morning Show’s annual Extreme Kitchen Makeover promotion, there

Undoubtedly, the 1999 movie “The Long Road Home” was not on the minds of the Corlew family as the Rick Quigley-led motorcade made its half-hour trek from Williamsport’s downtown Genetti Hotel to the peaceful surroundings of their Rauchtown home. Still, for the 2021 winners of the Chrisman’s Morning Show’s annual Extreme Kitchen Makeover promotion, there couldn’t have been a better description as to what was going through their minds since they last saw the interior of their home.

It was the morning of November 4 when the Corlew’s last left their residence. On the morning of November 15, they were about to see the transformation that had taken place for the past eleven days thanks to the frenzied work and talents of a multitude of individuals and businesses participating in the veteran radio personality’s sometimes zany shenanigans.

“As we were riding back to our home, I was full of excitement and anticipation,” admitted Melissa Corlew. “I didn’t know what I was going to see when I got there. When I walked in the door, I was amazed that our space was now all open, and our ceilings were now more than six feet tall. It was utterly amazing. It didn’t look like the same house we had left two weeks ago.”

“We have been very fortunate to assemble the great team of sponsors we have to make this all possible. Most of our sponsors, led by TurnKey Construction, continue to sign on year after year because they all felt good about the promotion and are committed to giving back to the community,” Gary Chrisman added.

For TurnKey, now in its fourth year of participation, it has become a labor of love.

“We’ve been successful and had a lot of fortunate things come our way, and this is a way we can give back to people who need it. It gives us an opportunity to show our skills and what we can do. This provides a great way to do that,” explained Matt Bower.

“These projects present a lot of challenges. You have to have everything scheduled and coordinated in a very tight time frame. Going into the promotion not knowing who is going to be selected makes it even more difficult. We are blessed to have a lot of good people that both work for us and around us, and everyone gives their best efforts to make something like this possible.

“We had ten of our TurnKey crew on this project, and they all busted their hump. Some of our guys worked other projects during the day and came here to help after hours, while others were assigned here the whole time. But we worked well into the night to be able to pull this off in the time allotted. We pay them for their normal eight-hour day, but all the other time they put in is their own volunteer time.

“For me, it means a lot. It is a lot of hard work and hours, but we are giving back and doing the right thing. What we are able to do is a help to others and makes them feel good, so it is all very worthwhile.”

For the Corlew family (Melissa, husband Dan, daughter Brianna, and son Brandon), their home in Rauchtown was the site of neighborhood excitement as friends and neighbors were among the dozens who gathered to welcome them to their new digs.

The Corlew’s name was among the thousands of entries for the contest that were narrowed down to 220 qualifiers that won various prizes. Five finalists were selected, which then saw architectural plans developed for the homes of all five finalists from which the Corlew’s name was drawn.

Explaining why she took the time to enter the contest; “I had never won anything before, not even scratch-off lottery tickets,” Melissa laughed. “I thought why not? Stranger things have happened. Months from now, I imagine I will have some quiet moments of awe just sitting here looking around still trying to believe it is my house.”

During the 11-day makeover project, there was little quiet in the Corlew home as the team of sponsors assembled for the transformation scurried about the home as if it were a beehive.

In addition to TurnKey, those sponsors included:

Susquehanna Marble & Granite (granite countertops); Lezzer Lumber and Design Center (Cabinetry); Bill’s Appliance (all new Whirlpool appliances); Timeless Furniture and Interiors, (window treatments, accessories & design); Echo Flooring Gallery (flooring), Beiter’s Furniture Mattress and Appliance; Service 1st Federal Credit Union ($1,000 Visa gift card); Chef Hosch & Ann’s Catering (providing the Corlews with a catered meal for six); Williamsport Moving & Storage (removed and stored household belongings during the renovation); Pudgies Pizza (provided daily meals for the workers); Genetti Hotel & Suites (hotel accommodations for the Corlew family); R &J Ertel Plumbing & Heating, Dave Stom, New Life Wood Floors; Howell Dry Wall & Painting; Jeff Hammond Electric; Bob’s Disposal; Zach Mill Craft Furniture; Woodrich Hand Crafted Furniture; EH Kleckner (Bud Light & Budweiser); and Alechia’s (decorative accessories).

Mary Jo Bower, along with Timeless Furniture and Interiors’ Seidel Shiffer and Jean Lowery, were instrumental in the decorative accessories.

“It just warms my heart, especially at Christmastime,” Mary Jo reflected. “This is just one of my favorite times of the year, and we just love to be able to give back to the community. We were trying to give the family something totally fun and different than what they had, something unexpected.”

As the home buzzed with excitement, Dan Corlew stepped back from the crowd and looked around in amazement.

“I just can’t believe the transformation. It didn’t even look like our house when we walked in. This is everything I could have ever hoped for and more. They even moved our steps. We were kind of hoping for something like that but didn’t think that was realistic, and we’re just blown away. What they did here is just perfect.

“This means so very much to Melissa. She has wanted a kitchen makeover, but we just didn’t know what to do with it. We had an odd layout here, and they just fixed everything.”

“This has been one of the most spectacular Extreme Kitchen Makeovers we’ve ever done, and this is why we do this, giving back to the community,” Chrisman offered. “I’ve been involved in radio 40-plus years, and when you can give away an extreme kitchen with great sponsors to a well-deserving family just before Thanksgiving and Christmas, it just doesn’t get better than this. It makes me want to keep doing radio for a few more years.”

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