After a three-month wait, Chattanoogans finally get their first glimpse inside the new home built for the Sharrock family tonight at 8 on ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."
The airing is prompting friends to gather for viewing parties around the region.
During a one-week span in mid-February, the 1,100-square-foot, 50-year-old home of Michael and Cindy Sharrock in Rossville was demolished and replaced with a custom-designed 3,000-square-foot home.
The Sharrocks' son, Patrick, has Type 3 osteogenesis imperfecta, commonly known as brittle bone disease, which causes bones to break from even the slightest impact. The new home incorporates state-of-the-art features to make a safe environment for Patrick.
Michael Sharrock said it's this focus on accessibility that has allowed Patrick to become more independent in his own home.
"I told one of the producers about a month ago that I had been noticing I was subconsciously letting Patrick wander about on his own without following to check on him or trying to be right there like I was at the old house," Mr. Sharrock said.
"It's just a lot safer for him, and I feel a lot more comfortable allowing him to move about the house and the fenced play area in the back. I watch over him in the front yard a little more, but everywhere else in the house he is self-sufficient," he said.
Michael, Cindy and Patrick will join Vision Homes builders Jason Willard and Craig Smith for the Extreme Viewing Party tonight at the Metro Tabernacle.
Mr. Sharrock said he hasn't previewed any of tonight's episode and hasn't even seen the commercials promoting the episode, so "it's all new to us."
"Patrick's mostly excited about all the people he expects to be there - a lot of his friends and volunteers he met," Mr. Sharrock said.
The viewing party will be from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at the Metro Tab on Shepherd Road near Highway 153. There will be music by Praise Chamber and Mountain Cove Band, along with heartwarming testimonies before the show starts at 8.
Although there is no admission, organizers are encouraging all who attend to perpetuate the spirit of giving by bringing donations for four nonprofits.
• Hope and Help International will have a trailer on-site to collect items for tornado victims. Needed are bottled waters, toiletries, baby formula, diapers, blankets, health and beauty items and nonperishable foods.
• The airing of the Sharrock's "Extreme Makeover" episode coincides with OI Awareness Week, May 9-15. Representatives of the Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation will be on hand with information about OI. They will be selling wristbands for $3.
• Alhambra Shrine members will be collecting donations to fund transportation of burned, crippled and sick children to Shriners hospitals.
• Behind-the-scenes DVDs and photo CDs of the construction of the Sharrock house will be sold to benefit the OI Foundation and Alhambra Shrine.
• Habitat for Humanity representatives will be signing up volunteers to help build and repair homes for tornado victims and other local people in need.
Management at Ruby Falls also is hosting a viewing party in the attraction's lobby from 8 to 9 p.m.