Family's new home to rise from rubble on TV's "Extreme Makeover"
By Nancy Bartley
Seattle Times staff reporter
The Dore family is in Florida while their home in Kingston, Kitsap County, is being rebuilt in four days for an episode of a popular television show. Fire destroyed the home in March.
KINGSTON — Long before the roosters or the sun announced the day, the neighbors of Kiwi Lane were at their windows. They telephoned each other. Looked down the still country road. Worried.
Pam baked cinnamon rolls. Clinton and Cindi made sausage. Someone put on coffee. They met at Pam's pale-green cottage with the pumpkins by the doorstep, just waiting — hoping — for the signs of a miracle.
Just after sunup, two strangers — one in a pink leather coat — walked across a pasture. No one dresses like that on the farms on Bainbridge Island, Pam said. They ran to the door.
Only then did anyone know for sure that Hollywood had come to Kiwi Lane.
Just then, Ty Pennington, host of ABC TV's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," strolled up to a two-story storage shed at the end of the lane — the makeshift shelter for Roseanne Dore and her three daughters since a fire destroyed their house in March. Then came Pennington's signature line: "Good morning Dore family!"
The Dores who, like the neighbors, knew they were finalists, began to scream. And suddenly the show's film crew, followed quickly by a construction crew, was everywhere. The Dore family — Roseanne, 48, Jessica, 22, Sarah, 17 and Aariel, 13 — would be getting a new home, and new lives as well, provided in the grandiose way only the reality-TV show can do. That was Wednesday, and everything started happening fast.
The Dores were whisked away in a limousine and flown to Disney World in Florida for a one-week vacation while their new home is being built between now and Wednesday. Kiwi Lane began to rock with the thunder of heavy equipment. Within an hour or two, the news had spread throughout Kingston.
In a town of 1,600, it's hard to take on a feel-good project of this magnitude without everyone knowing and wanting to help, especially when the family is as well-regarded as Dore and her daughters.
By yesterday, even ferry-dock attendants were trying to catch a glimpse of the construction, and diners at the Kingston Inn were mulling over how the new house might change the family's lives. Excitement rippled through the town as if the city itself had conspired to improve the lives of four of its humblest citizens.
By the time the Dores return from Florida four days from now, they will have a new two-story house with six bedrooms and seven bathrooms, and stocked with food, dishes, linens and furniture — all donated by local or national businesses. Even their animals — horses, peacocks and cows — will have new pens. "Extreme Makeover" officials wouldn't say when the show will air.
There is no family more deserving of such a windfall, say friends of the Dores — from Roseanne Dore's co-workers at Kingston Junior High's cafeteria to neighbors Cindi and Clinton Dudley, Sue Duffin and Pam Buitenveld. Even folks down at the local hardware and the Albertsons grocery were in agreement that the family deserves this.
Dore has raised her daughters alone on a small income since her husband's death about 10 years ago. Then in March the modest house they'd built on 2.5 acres at the end of a dirt road caught fire. The insurance didn't pay enough to rebuild the house, so the family moved into the storage shed. The Dores have lived there without running water or plumbing, used an outhouse, cooked with a microwave and taken cold showers in a travel trailer.
Dore's co-workers and students at the junior high set up a Dore family trust fund and raised $2,000 to help, Assistant Principal Bill Breckey saying, "We're family."
Yet the unassuming Dore declined other offers of help and rarely spoke of her troubles.
Her girls seldom wanted to come home after school. There was no place to take friends, no place for sleepovers with midnight giggle sessions when their mom was in the next bunk bed.
Dore, a Girl Scout leader, was nominated for the show by other Girl Scout members in July. Neighbors submitted applications on her behalf as well. Once she learned she was a finalist, she submitted a videotape depicting life in the storage shed. It was daughter Aariel's desire for a slumber party and the family's primitive living conditions that touched the show's crew.
Once the show decided to build a home for the Dores, local builder Doug Barnes, president of the Bellevue division of Centex Homes, a national builder, was enlisted. He volunteered his company's time and rallied some 600 others in the industry, all of whom signed pacts not to tell anyone about the project until after the Dores learned they'd been selected.
Yesterday, a 103-hour construction miracle — a new Craftsman farmhouse with a wrap-around porch — began with what in show-biz terminology is called the " 'Braveheart' scene." Hundreds of blue-shirted construction workers waving hammers and fists rushed up a freshly laid construction road.
Then some 90 volunteers from naval bases in Bremerton and Everett, armed with crowbars or driving backhoes and bulldozers, crunched into the charred hulk of the old house and scraped away the sad remnants of the Dores' past life.
By afternoon, the new house was under way.
Knowing Dore and her girls have made do with an outhouse, Barnes — himself the father of three daughters — wanted to be sure each had her own bathroom. Roseanne's will have a clawfoot tub.
"I can just picture her taking a bubble bath," Cindi Dudley said. And when the Dores' peach tree is heavy with fruit next summer, she can imagine her canning as she loved to do before the fire — but this time in the new kitchen.
Centex architect Kevin Scott designed the home for Dore after watching her videotape of the kind of house the family would like. He's never before had clients whose only wish was that their house have indoor plumbing and bedrooms.
Another volunteer is Tom O'Keefe, founder and chairman of the board of directors of Tully's, who is providing coffee and food for the work crews but wanted to do more. He's heading up a scholarship drive for all three girls.
With its charitable theme, reminiscent of programs from the 1950s like "Queen for a Day," "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" has captured the public's attention. Among reality shows it is now rated second only to CBS' "Survivor: Vanuatu."
"In 20 years there's been nothing like it on TV," said Preston Sharp, a designer on the "Extreme Makeover" cast. He's constantly touched by the personal stories of the families the show helps, some so tragic that "vans of social workers should follow us."
But not this family, he said. "When this project is done we'll go away. They really love each other."
In case you wondered:
How can an ambitious construction project be completed so quickly, with a neighborhood's cooperation?
Weeks before a winner is announced, a crew member notifies neighbors that a family is a finalist. Neighbors who might be affected by noise are told they would be put up in hotels if necessary, but they are told not to share that with the finalist. A home's foundation, which otherwise takes days to cure, is built with a mix of additives that set up quickly, and special drywalling compounds are fast-drying also.
A building inspector — in this case from Kitsap County — is assigned to be on call 24 hours daily.
Shuttles provided by Kitsap Transit will go to the construction site 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily through Wednesday, picking up riders at the park-and-ride lot behind Albertsons at the corner of Highway 104 and Hansville Road.
For $4 round-trip, walk-on ferry passengers who leave their cars in Edmonds can take a private shuttle from the Kingston ferry dock to the construction site. It will run during daylight hours through Wednesday. No reservations required. Look for the bus as you get off the ferry.