Bowen, owner of the Geo-Loop business in Aurelia, received a call from a well driller from Stockton, Ill. who asked if Jeff could bring one of the grouters his company manufactures to do some work on a nearby home that the ABC television show "Extreme Home Makeover" was doing as a remodeling project.
Jeff headed out to the small town of Lena, Illinois, where the Stott family home was in the process of a makeover. Working from midnight to 8 a.m. on September 9, Bowen grouted the water well between the earth and the well casing to make an environmentally safe seal. Done with his job, he asked if he could park his trailer nearby and stick around awhile . Given permission to do so, Jeff then spent the next few days as one of the many volunteers doing various "odd jobs" around the set to help the makeover people accomplish their goals.
"And highway 20 was closed for about 10 days, as the new house was built about 500 feet north of the highway. This project also included a new pond, fencing for their animals, a new chicken house, a rebuilt sheep shed and repainted barn - all above and beyond the new house.
"The new house also has geothermal heating and cooling, along with a wind generator to supplement the entire electrical system. I could go on and on about what I saw that week," added Bowen. "What a great experience being able to help with this project. I had to actually sign a contract with ABC to do this volunteer work. Everything was VERY well organized.
"I also got an 'Extreme Make Over' tee shirt autographed by (series star) Ty (Pennington) for my daughter Jenny. There was an estimated 5,000 people there the afternoon of the return of the Stott family. What an awesome experience it was. "
And if you tune in to ABC on Sunday at 7 p.m., you too can see some of what Jeff Bowen was able to experience.