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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Former Shocker star Carl Hall to receive 'Extreme Home Makeover' house

BY ANNIE CALOVICH
The Wichita Eagle

The Carl Hall family will get a new house from "Extreme Home Makeover," it was announced today.

Hall, who starred on some of the strongest Shocker baseball teams in school history and was the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year in 1994, was paralyzed from the neck down after a traffic crash in Kingman County in June.

He and his family, WSU baseball coach Gene Stephenson, the WSU baseball team, volunteers and members of the public who had caught wind of the event gathered on the indoor practice field outside Eck Stadium at Wichita State University to celebrate the announcement with Ty Pennington and the "Makeover" staff.

Crews and volunteers will start building tomorrow. The location of the house, which will be built from the ground up, had not been announced.

Blue-shirted volunteers were asked to show up on the Eck Stadium field at 12:30 p.m. today, and an e-mail was sent at Wichita State University in the morning, asking the community to turn out for an announcement at that time.

Phyllis Guinn of Wichita found out about the event after WuShock put it on Facebook, she said. She took one son out of kindergarten and another out of daycare and took them to the stadium so that they could see the volunteer effort.

But as 12:30 came and went, it was announced that anyone who was not in a blue volunteer T-shirt and was under 18 would not be allowed to attend the announcement. At that point, people started heading for the exits, until a "Makeover" staffer apologized for the confusion and tried to regather the adults.

One student said it was "horrible" that students had received the e-mail and then apparently not been wanted.

WSU student Christian Howell of Andover, on the other hand, was excited — enough to skip his algebra class to go to the announcement.

He and Eric Phipps and some of their other frat brothers signed up to volunteer to help build the "Makeover" house, receiving blue T-shirts on the spot and getting in the thick of the pep-rally atmosphere around the Halls. Phipps ended up missing his 2 p.m. psychology class, as the announcement wasn't made until then.

WSU staffers who had expected to just miss lunch for the event were e-mailing their offices that it was taking longer than anticipated. Once the first announcement was made, the "Makeover" staff asked everyone to stick around for a redo.

Volunteers are being recruited to help with the project for the ABC reality show, now in its eighth season. The build will require 2,000 people working 24 hours a day. You can volunteer online at wichitaextreme.com.

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