The Piepkorn family jokes that they bleed green and gold, the color of their hometown Bison and the school where dad, Dave, played football. Wednesday afternoon, 13-year-old Will Piepkorn wore his Bison football jersey as his wheelchair tires rolled through yellow paint and onto a large white canvas. The color represents Will’s sports interests, his favorite team and it appears on the canvas with intersecting lines of blue and red tracks. Will’s personal touch will be part of a design item that will become a focal point in one of the rooms of the Grommesh family’s new home.
About 40 out of the 58 children involved in Hope Inc. spent time with designers, volunteers and the crew of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” They spent time making the art piece, having photos taken at a digital picture station and writing letters to the Grommesh family about what Hope has meant to them.
“This is just a way for all of the Hope kids to be a part of this,” says Vickie Piepkorn, who was also impressed with the accessible activities chosen for the kids.
Vickie Piepkorn is on the Hope Inc. board and works hard to get the word out about the organization. For her and her family, joy comes when new people discover Hope Inc. and what it can do for their families. It opens up a new level of accessibility for the children.
The tight knit group of Hope families forms an instant support system. Families who have been through difficult experiences lean on each other, and share experiences, medical stories and resources.
“It’s like a family,” Dave Piepkorn says. “We’ve all seen each other’s true colors.” He laughs, but says it’s true, and it just shows how well the group members have gotten to know each other.
They share in the tough times but also delight in seeing their children enjoy activities that all kids are able to do, like creating colorful hope on a driveway for friends on a warm fall afternoon.