Clockwise from upper left: Ryan, Brandon, Jerry, Paula and Ashley De Young. Photo by Donald A. Promnitz
Written by Donald A. Promnitz
When producer Jeff Cruz from Extreme Makeover Home Edition was getting ready to prepare for the return of the popular television show, he called Paula De Young — the same woman he called ten years earlier.
“De Young Properties, who were our builders the first time ten years ago when we came to the area, we knew we had a builder here that wanted to be part of the new season,” Cruz said. “And we cast in this area because of them.”
Back in 2009, the Fresno-based homebuilders constructed a house on the show for Fresno resident Maryanne Riojas in seven days. This time, an army of more than 2,000 volunteers is constructing a home for Cal Fire Capt. Nicholas Reeder, a widowed father of three daughters. Reeder’s wife, Amanda Sawyer, passed away last year after giving birth to twins.
However, this time around, it will be the second generation of the De Young family to take on the Herculean task. Ashley De Young, vice president of marketing and a member of the third generation of the family business, was 20 when they were on TV the first time. Still in college, she assisted where she could, but now she’s joining brothers Ryan and Brandon (president and executive vice president) in taking the helm from their parents.
“My brothers and I would describe ‘Extreme Makeover’ as being like the ‘Super Bowl of homebuilding,’” De Young said. “It’s what we used to say and still feel… because every day we build home, but this time, we’re building a home for a very important, deserving family and a local hero in our community, and it’s being aired on national television.”
The reveal of the new house will take place on Sunday.