Muncy Woman Wins Grand Home Makeover
MUNCY – Just one vote was all it took for Chrissie Van Pelt to win one of the most exciting contests she could ever hope to win. For on that lucky day in November when she decided to visit an open house at Aquarius Pools in downtown Williamsport, Chrissie filled out a form to win a $50,000 home make over that was being sponsored by a local radio station.
“I was driving in my car listening to a live remote about the contest. I had tried several times during the week to call in, but the line was always busy. You had to be the 25th caller to enter the drawing to win. It was hard, so I decided to go to the Christmas Open House to enter,” said Chrissie. “I couldn’t believe it, when they called me later and said I was one of the five finalists,” she added. She was chosen among 209 names. She was the fifth finalist from a drawing held on November 19. ” I was so excited, I started hyperventilating. I couldn’t believe they called me from just filling out the one form.”
Van Pelt said that her 35 year old home was in great need of many repairs. The kitchen cabinets weren’t attached to the wall, the dishwasher no longer worked, the windows leaked and rattled, and the floor was just plywood. “Anything would be an improvement,” she commented.
With a limited income and a family, it was hard to keep up with all of the improvements that were needed. The bathroom had holes in the drywall, the ceiling was coming down, the toilet didn’t flush and parts of the original linoleum flooring were missing. “It was dark and gloomy and the shower was like taking a dumpster dive,” noted Van Pelt. “So when an opportunity came to enter this holiday home makeover, I had to win,” she said. “I just had to,” she said to herself as she stuck the competed form into the box that lucky evening at Aquarius Pools. She also purchased some unique holiday ornaments for good luck.
On November 27, the day after Thanksgiving, a team of contractors came to her home on Carpenter Street in Muncy to do several measurements in the kitchen and bath. Covenant Builders from Montoursville was one of the main participating sponsors and did most of the work, according to Van Pelt.
The five finalists were told to be ready to move out for ten days in case they were the winners. Rules and guidelines were explained to them on November 30 when the contestants met with all of the sponsors at Johnson’s Cafe in Montoursville.
The Van Pelts had to be packed for ten days not knowing if they were going to win or not. “I made arrangements for the dogs to go to the kennels and packed my suitcase, just in case,” remarked Chrissie. “I had trouble sleeping the night before. All we knew was that a caravan would arrive at the winner’s home on December 4. I had off from work and was up at 5:30 in the morning.” In anticipation she kept looking out her front window to see if anyone was coming. The entire family was listening to the radio to see whose house was going to get picked among the five. “Even my daughter in Hawaii was listening online,” she said.
“Pretty soon we saw a white SUV and a Mayflower truck pull up and then lots of other commercial vehicles were following.” They lined the street by 8 a.m. on the morning of December 4. A few minutes later they heard a blaring call, “Congratulations to the Van Pelt family in Muncy!”
For ten days they were comfortably placed in a quiet suite at the Genetti Hotel while 19 different local sponsors and contractors came together to make their lives more rewarding with a brand new kitchen and bathroom.
“The waiting was long, I wasn’t allowed to call them or stop by or visit my house,” she proclaimed. On December 14 a hummer limo came to pick them up at the Genetti to take them back to their new place in Muncy.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was a brand new house on the inside. They did everything. All I told them was to make it pet friendly.”
The entire kitchen was gutted and new electrical wiring and plumbing work were added as well as new water lines and a filter system. Hardwood floors were polished and new flooring was put upstairs and in the kitchen and bathroom. New window treatments and light fixtures and ceiling fans were installed. Granite countertops, brand new stainless steel kitchen appliances and new carpeting upstairs were some of the favorite makeover additions for the Van Pelts.
Final touches included a new sofa, an area rug, and original artwork added to freshly painted walls. “We were totally surprised. I liked everything they did. I couldn’t believe how much they got done in just ten days,” she said. They did the entire home except for two rooms, They even put up holiday decorations with wreaths and rope lights around the windows.
“I am truly grateful for this experience. Our home is so easy to clean now and take care of. It made our holidays the best ever.”