‘Extreme Makeover: Parties Celebrate Airing of Extreme Episode’

By Christina Leach Phillips

Correspondent

GREEN COVE SPRINGS — Carrie Prewitt and her daughters, Ashley, Taylor and Gina Brewer, stared intently at the television screen, smiling and pointing as they watched themselves on ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” Mother’s Day show during a viewing party with builders, volunteers, and sponsors at the Shriners Club.

A few miles north, another viewing party at Buffalo’s Southwest Cafe with over 200 volunteers, their families, and friends was in full swing. 

Just two years ago, the three Brewer sisters were about to be split up and put into foster care after their parents died, and there were no relatives to take the girls in. 

That is when Prewitt, Middleburg High School’s volley coach and PE teacher, stepped up and agreed to become legal guardian to her volleyball player, Ashley, now 19, as well as her two younger sisters, Taylor, 14, and Gina, 12. 

In the show, Ashley, who took responsibility of her younger siblings, said, “My heart kept telling me that Coach Prewitt will take me, Taylor, and Gina. . . Why would she not do that?” 

Prewitt, a single woman known for treating all her players like daughters, did not hesitate to bring the girls into her run-down double wide trailer home in Middleburg two years ago, but she expressed one concern — that she did not have a college fund for the girls.  

That burden was lifted whenUniversityofNorth Florida President John Delaney   announced that the girls were awarded full, four-year scholarships to the school. 

Today, the girls have a mother, a family, including a grandmother, aunts, uncles, and cousins, and a new home built by hundreds of volunteers led by J.A. Long Design Builders of Orange Park and Ark Remodeling and Construction of Gainesville. 

In addition, Prewitt was told that her mortgage was paid, and the Prewitt-Brewer family, also known as the “Brewitts,” was given a 2011 Ford Explorer with seven seats, to “fit the whole team.”    

At both viewing parties on Sunday, May 8, there were lots of cheers and applause as volunteers watched the show in which they built the 3,400 square foot tropical-themed house with a beach volleyball court, a center courtyard sanctuary, and a spa. 

Angie Claxton-Smith and her husband, Scotty Smith, said they worked on the house during the night shift. 

Claxton-Smith, who was an assistant lead during the build, said, “When you begin with the build, they give you a brief synopsis of the family . . . This show has really made us realize even more so than we initially did that they really do deserve all of this.  That house is perfect for them.” 

Scotty Smith, a mechanic who said he learned carpentry skills during the build, described his volunteer experience as “fantastic.” 

After watching the show, he admitted, “I got a little teary eyed on some of that – yes I did.” 

The builders presented Prewitt with a bouquet of flowers in honor of Mother’s Day at the conclusion of the show. 

Prewitt thanked all the volunteers, saying, “Some of the people I have met tell me that they did the sheet rock, or they did the roof, or they painted the walls.  Every time I walk into the house, and I see that stuff, it just reminds me of all the people that came together for us.”

A behind the scenes video will go on sale shortly.  For more information, go online to http://www.facebook.com at “North Florida Extreme Makeover.”

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