Local Company helps with 'Extreme Makeover'

February 17, 2014

Originally from The News Herald

Posted: Sunday, February 16, 2014 10:10 pm | Updated: 11:15 am, Mon Feb 17, 2014.

BY JESSICA ISAACS jisaacs@morganton.com

Leaders from one local, family-operated business recently traveled to Florida to participate in a special project. Kellex Seating donated hundreds of sleeper sofas and lounge chairs to the Extreme Village Makeover project and helped renovate Give Kids the World — a resort community for children with life-threatening illnesses.  Kellex Seating is an upholstery company located in Valdese that manufactures high-quality, American-made furniture. The company was asked by one of its clients to participate in celebrating the 25th anniversary of the GKTW resort.

The GKTW Village is a nonprofit storybook resort in Florida, according to its website, that provides unforgettable, cost-free vacations for families with children facing serious illness. The goal of the organization is “to provide the happiness that inspires hope to these precious children” along with “the opportunity to create family memories that will last a lifetime.”  Children and families who visit the 70-acre resort enjoy accommodations in the whimsical village, transportation, donated tickets and access to popular theme parks. Wyndham Vacation Ownership — a company that works closely with Kellex Seating — recently spearheaded a project to redesign and refurbish the village’s dated furnishings.  “The creator and director of the project Gary Rall, vice president of Resort Renovation and Design for Wyndham, asked our company to be involved,” said Kellex President and Owner Chris Rice. “We were not familiar with GKTW, but as we researched the organization we realized that our values parallel GKTW.  “Kellex is truly a family business. We all may have different last names, but we care for and respect each other as a family. GKTW Extreme Village Makeover was an opportunity for all of us to work together for the families visiting the village, doing what we do best." 

The Extreme Village Makeover project was a component of the Extreme Home Makeover television series that renovated 88 vacation villas at the GKTW resort between Jan. 12-25.  Kellex Seating donated 97 sleeper sofas and 97 each of two different styles of lounge chairs to the renovation project. Rice, Kellex COO and owner Doug Fawcett, and Plant Manager Donald Gray were able to travel to Florida to assist with the renovation on site.  "This was a humbling experience for all of us to go down to Orlando, actually see the facility, and to have the hands on experience,” said Fawcett. “To see all the good that GKTW does, it reminded me of how fortunate I am to have a healthy family."  Extreme Home Makeover star Ty Pennington helped lead the project, and the completion was revealed on the Good Morning America program on Jan. 25.   “It made me stop and think … because you forget that there are families suffering all the time,” Fawcett said. “It was touching and moving to be part of this giveback. This organization is able to touch, and 'heal' kids, it's truly magical there."

To view before and after photos of the project, visit http://bit.ly/1kgXOAP.

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