The Ceiling Can’t Hold Us
- June 7, 2023
The Rogers’ family home sits along Route 654 in Nisbet, in a house built in the 1950s with a kitchen that had never been updated. Now, thanks to KISS-FM’s annual Kitchen Makeover promotion, that is ancient history for Acacia and Travis Rogers and their four children Kaydence, Trent, Blaine, and Kara — the latest winners
The Rogers’ family home sits along Route 654 in Nisbet, in a house built in the 1950s with a kitchen that had never been updated. Now, thanks to KISS-FM’s annual Kitchen Makeover promotion, that is ancient history for Acacia and Travis Rogers and their four children Kaydence, Trent, Blaine, and Kara — the latest winners of the Gary Chrisman Morning Show’s long-running contest.
“We had entered this contest several times before, never really dreaming we would win,” an excited Acacia revealed. “Once we had reached the final five, I was so nervous. The morning that announcement was made, I figured it wasn’t going to be us. I was sitting in the kitchen looking out the window when I saw this white truck and then Gary Chrisman pull into the driveway. I just started screaming. I couldn’t control myself.”
This is the 15th year Chrisman and KISS-FM have teamed with local businesses to transform home interiors with modern kitchen remodels. The contest had several thousand entries. Two hundred four of them qualified by winning on-air, online, and at the various sponsor locations as the contest proceeded. All those entries’ names were put in the drawing box, out of which the names of the five finalists were determined.
“I’ve been doing local radio for 40+ years, 35 of them at KISS-FM, and great contests are the sizzle to a radio station,” Chrisman offered. “Just because you may operate in a small market, you don’t have to think small. You can do major-market caliber radio contests right here, and that is what we’re doing with the Extreme Kitchen Makeover. We’ve had great people involved since day one, and all the sponsors thought at a big level because it provides all of us a chance to give something back during the holiday season to people who may never have had a new kitchen and new construction in their house. To see the surprised reaction of the people this contest has been able to help over the years — that’s what it is all about. To be able to do that in Williamsport, PA, is pretty cool.”
This is the 5th year in a row TurnKey Construction has served as the lead sponsor.
“This is a great sense of pride, especially for our company,” said TurnKey spokesman Matt Bower. “It shows you how appreciative the people are and the quality of work we do. To get this kind of project done in ten days is fun to see and gives me a lot of pride to see what we can do as a business. It takes a village to get something like this done, and we had a crew of a dozen employees practically working around the clock. We want to be able to handle both big and small projects. This project has a small-town feel yet is a big-town product.
“When we first walked into the Rogers’ home, we saw a myriad of possibilities for change. We took what had been their old kitchen and made it a kid’s room, carved out a new living room space, and then took what had been the living room and made it into a bigger, modern kitchen. They have four kids and needed a lot more space.
“Making those kind of room changes sometimes can be difficult but we had R&J Ertel and Jeff Hammond Electric working with us side-by-side, and they knew exactly what needed to be done. All the various businesses that helped with this makeover did a great job, and it is gratifying to see it all come together in such a short time.
“We just love to give back. Our business has been fortunate, so it is nice to give back to the community, especially to people that really appreciate it.”
The ten-day Rogers’ home turnaround was the result of tremendous teamwork and cooperation by the sponsorship team assembled under TurnKey’s lead. In addition to R&J Ertel and Hammond Electric, those businesses included: Lezzer Lumber, cabinetry; Susquehanna Marble & Granite, countertops; Bill’s Appliance, stainless steel appliances; Echo Flooring Gallery, kitchen flooring; Service 1st Federal Credit Union, $1,000 Visa Gift Card; Beiter’s, furnishings; Timeless Furniture & Interiors, design services and window treatments; Elery Nau Hardware, paint; Mary Jo Bower, furnishings; Williamsport Moving & Storage, moving items from the home, storing them and bringing them back after the makeover was complete; Howell Drywall & Painting; New Life Wood Floors, flooring and woodwork; Alicia’s House of Country, decorative touches; Paul Albert Architect, renovation plans for each of the five finalists homes; Woodrich, creative furniture; BK Disposal, waste removal; Genetti Hotel & Suites, housing accommodations for the Rogers family while renovations were taking place; Pudgie’s Pizza, Wings & Subs, and Bud Light.
The Rogers family returned home on the morning of the reveal, on November 14th, and were amazed by what had taken place.
“We try so hard, and this gives us hope. Our prayers were answered by so many people who prayed for us that we could win this when we learned we were among the five finalists of the contest. We were so nervous, hoping that we would win,” an appreciative Acacia added.
“What has been done to our home is amazing. It doesn’t even look like the same place we left a week ago. I thought they might knock out walls because our kitchen was so tiny. This is like an upgrade you only see in magazines. But when I walked in and saw what had been done, I was shocked. I’ll need some time to process things, but right now, I can’t believe this is my home. It is life-changing for us.”
As the oldest of four siblings 16-year-old Kaydence was gleefully exploring the many new things, she was encountering.
“I know my mom and dad are really happy. I think they deserve it. They have put up with a lot of stuff, and I think this is like a sign from the universe for them. This is like a completely different house, and I really like it. This new layout makes so much more sense. We have much more space for dishes and pots and pans. It is much better for the whole family.”
As dozens of visitors took in all the trappings, and the Chrisman Show broadcast the proceeding to its listeners, Travis Rogers watched from a corner of the room, his face lit in amazement and emotional tears swelling in his eyes.
“That moment for me was an answered prayer. The past few years, we’ve had a lot of losses, and it been trial after trial. I knew this kitchen makeover was more than a material thing. It was really a makeover inside our hearts because of all the things that had happened. I knew what this would mean to Acacia and to see her in that moment just brought so much joy to me. It was an answered prayer and overwhelming joy.
“Thanksgiving is coming, and this will make things so much more meaningful. I can’t wait to have family and friends at our house and break bread in this amazing new kitchen and be able to share this amazing gift that we’ve been given with those people we love. I don’t have the proper words to express my gratitude to TurnKey and all the others that have been involved in doing this for us. It is just a great gift. What they did, I can’t fathom in my brain. My heart is truly full.”