Geneva family chosen for home makeover

Host Ty Pennington and the rest of the cast of "Extreme Home Makeover" arrived early Monday morning at the house on 148 William St., Geneva, owned by Tim Hill to give his family the surprise of their lives.

Tim and Michelle Hill have four children, and the family runs a gym for underprivileged children. The house they live in is more than 150 years old and according to the Mahoney Design and Build, Inc. Web site, the house will include a new boxing gym.

The surprise visit to the house was preceded by a rally last Tuesday, Aug. 12, at Eastern Hills Bible Church. Hundreds of members attended the opening rally for the Central New York edition of "Extreme Home Makeover," even before the family was announced.

"Our families never know we're coming," Executive Producer Conrad Ricketts reminded rally-goers.

Despite the hopes of many, Pennington was not in attendance, but many other members of the cast, along with Ricketts, were.

The rally was held at Eastern Bible Church in Manlius, of which Tim Mahoney, who is heading the project here, and his wife, Ingrid, are members.

Mahoney addressed the crowd after a brief introduction. He praised his team.

"A couple of weeks ago when I pulled my team together it was amazing," Mahoney said. "I could count the no's on one hand That really speaks volumes about our community."

A fan of the show for five seasons, Mahoney said he always told his wife he would accept the show in a heartbeat if given the chance. When asked, he did, but immediately wondered how he could ever put a house together in just 106 hours. Normally it takes four months.

"I want to say thank you to everyone participating, in a big way or a small way," he said, because those people are who gave him the confidence to say yes to ABC.

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