SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — There were cheerleaders, music and mascots, but it was hardly your average pep rally.
Hundreds of volunteers gathered at Springfield College’s Blake Arena Tuesday night, gearing up to build a home in the City of Homes, but most importantly, they were cheering because they know they’ll be changing lives.
The hit ABC show, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition has chosen a Springfield family for it’s 9th season.
For Springfield native Elizabeth Haygood, being a part of that was a no-brainer.
“I’m a single mom,” said Haygood. “There’s a lot of people that helped me raise my children. They didn’t ask to. They just did. So whenever you can have a chance to pay that forward you know, my pastor always says, ‘You’re blessed to be a blessing,’ so I’m blessing someone else I hope.”
Many of the volunteers admit they’re avid watchers of the show, like Pat Belliveau.
“Every Sunday I watch it,” said said, “and I usually end up crying at the end.”
It’s that emotion that drove her to volunteer.
If anyone knows about the show’s emotional impact, it’s Senior Producer, Milan Vasic.
“It’s made it alright for us as men to cry,” he said. “So I appreciate that because I can’t watch without the tears.”
Vasic says they can use all the volunteers they can get, from shuttle drivers to trade workers.
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno says he’s sure the people of Springfield will step up to help.
“We are a caring city and you’re seeing that tonight with the hundreds, if not thousands of people that are here,” he said, “and this is all to help out a family in need.”
We’ll find out who that family is on September 11th, when they’ll receive the door knock of a lifetime.