MidAmerica professor goes extreme for deserving family
Friday, July 29, 2011
Olathe, Kansas

MidAmerica Nazarene University business professor Yorton Clark says his favorite TV show is ABC’s Extreme Home Makeover. Now he has the opportunity to work directly with the show’s staff as one of four project managers for their East Central Kansas project that kicks off July 31.

The project involves four Metro-area builders and each utilizes a volunteer project manager. Clark’s cousin, Rhonda Tiegreen, owner of Canyon Creek Construction, is the main builder. She contacted Clark about the opportunity not only because he loves the show, but because he has been in and around construction since he was a teenager. A summer construction worker during his college years, Clark has been responsible for building projects for three churches and worked as an accountant for a builder early in his career.

While the project starts soon, Clark and the other project managers have been busy securing subcontractors, laborers, donations for tools, and other volunteers for some time.

“The show needs 4,000 volunteers,” he said. “Each will work one six-hour shift and can choose day or night shifts. Since the house will be built in five and a half days, it takes a lot of people working around the clock to meet the deadline.”

Clark said he has received a good response with a lot of people wanting to be involved. Individuals and organizations from Topeka, Lawrence, Kansas City, Olathe, and Emporia are responding with labor and materials.

The exact project location is under wraps until the family is surprised by Ty Pennington and his team on July 31. The show then whisks the family off on a vacation while the makeover team takes on the job of building them a new home.

“It’s six hours of your life, but it can change the whole direction of a deserving family in our area,” Clark said. “I like the fact that although they’ve experienced some setbacks in their lives, this family is out there helping others in their community. They deserve for someone to help them.”

Taking on a more than full-time summer job as a volunteer might seem unusual for a university professor, but Clark says it’s a natural outcome of his experience at MidAmerica.

“For some, college can be just about gaining knowledge so one can get the best job and make the most money possible after graduation,” he said. “We’ve changed that at MNU. ‘Passion to Serve’ is not just one of our tag lines. We’re about learning so that we can serve others.”
--MidAmerica Nazarene University

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