Blue Ridge Log Cabins to be featured

Published 10:39 am Monday, June 27, 2011

Blue Ridge Log Cabins is teaming up with Extreme Makeover Home Edition.

Though Blue Ridge Log Cabins has shipped homes as far away as Wyoming and to 27 states, a shorter transport one state away could be the company’s biggest yet.

The Campobello-based business announced June 22 it is teaming up with “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” to build a home for a deserving family in Fayetteville, N.C.

Blue Ridge President and CEO Chip Smith said the company was humbled to take the lead in the construction of the project.

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“We couldn’t be happier to work alongside this fantastic community, and we hope everyone will turn out and join us in building an extraordinary home for this deserving family,” Smith said. “This whole project is about giving back and helping a family in need. This building is not just happening in Fayetteville, it’s happening right here.”

On June 24 the company held a kick-off pep rally for the “Heroes, Hearts, and Hard Hats” campaign aimed at energizing Blue Ridge employees and attracting volunteers from the Upstate and Fayetteville.

During the kick-off, employees and their families were able to meet members of the ABC show’s team, including producers and designers.

Senior producer Milan Vasic said he hoped more than anything that the employees and families of Blue Ridge might be able to make it to Fayetteville to take part at least in viewing the final days of construction. He said the help the company is providing leading up to demolition day on July 14 is monumental.

“We appreciate the help – it really does make a difference and it changes lives,” Vasic said. “It’s very, very rare that you have a show that embraces the community. In our case, we need the community to do what we do.”

Vasic said the show receives 500-1,500 applications a day from families hoping for their chance to get their own dream home. But he said that is why the show has been so popular – it’s connected with people.

“It’s not just a reality show. We’re not kicking people off islands, we’re not making people eat bugs… we’re building a house and changing the lives of people who are already making a difference in their community.”

“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” boasts 10 million viewers each week, broadcasting in 58 languages and in more than 120 countries.

That breadth of audience means exposure for the 18-year-old Campobello company.

“We recognize the exposure we can bring to the Upstate in South Carolina by being a part of this project,” Smith said. “We can showcase what Spartanburg County is about and what the Upstate can do.”

The home is currently in production, with more than 100 crews members touching the project in some way or another.

Smith said members of his crew have been on site in Fayetteville several days a week for the past six weeks preparing for the show. Meanwhile, he said, his employees in Campobello have put in numerous hours of volunteer overtime and worked with at least three other companies of contractors and vendors willing to put in their share of in-kind donations, as well, by completing tasks suchas hanging drywall.

“Our employees have been so receptive of what we’ve asked them to do but I knew they would be,” Smith said. “That made it very easy for me to accept the challenge because I know the caliber of employees we have here.”

Smith said Blue Ridge Log Cabins has in the past also provided volunteer labor on building projects for non-profit organizations such as Glen Springs Academy, the former Spartanburg County Boys Home.

A pep rally for the community in Fayetteville will be held July 7. This episode will air at some point during the fall season of the show.