December 31, 2007 // Franchising.com // - Four deserving winners were chosen out of hundreds of entries into Kitchen Tune-Up's "Small Changes, Big Difference" essay contest. The grand prize winner is receiving an entire kitchen remodel worth over $10,000! The three runner-ups are receiving our signature Tune-Up service and amenities worth $1,000. Follow their stories on the KTU Kares blog at www.kitchentuneup.com/more/ktu_kares_blog. Watch what they go through as their kitchens are transformed.
Nikki Hall has been awarded the grand prize of a kitchen remodel worth $10,000.00. She is extremely excited about the prize, having been nominated by one of her hair salon clients. She was suggested for the prize for helping foster children in her home town. She owns her own hair salon and organized an effort to provide hundreds of new school supplies for these foster children and then provided them all with new haircuts, including their families! This was hundreds of haircuts with no compensation and no local publicity, since the identities of these children must be kept private. She is truly deserving of a special gift and franchise owner Tom Taube will do his best to make sure she knows we appreciate her efforts to help children in her area!
Donna-Marie Ryan was so happy when Family Circle contacted her to offer the runner-up prize; her husband was recently diagnosed with cancer and they were literally leaving for his first cancer treatment when they received the call. She said that a remodel was on her "Honey-do" list for him (things that probably won't get done anytime soon) and now they hope to be able to enjoy it together for a long time to come. She helped to organize a project, with her daughter, where each month her classroom of seventh graders creates a variety of gifts, using floral design, for 125 elderly at their local nursing home. This has now gone on for several years and has helped those kids learn about service learning, helping their community and giving back. Franchise owner Paul Demerjian will be helping this couple realize their wish.
Joe Wirebaugh has a knack for helping families in his community. He began buying and fixing up local houses, making them into homes for needy families in his town. He made sure they were safe, inviting and affordable, also working with each family to understand and repair their financial standing, eventually owning these homes themselves. To date, Joe has helped six families own their own dream homes. Joe had to quit his job as a firefighter two years ago, due to heart surgery and had fallen from a ladder this fall working on his wife's "dream home", breaking several bones, including collar, shoulder and pelvis. He's been on the mend and they've now moved into this home of their dreams, and are looking forward to a Tune-Up for their historic new kitchen, one less project for Joe to do himself. Franchise owner Lew Snyder will step in line to take this project on for him.
Susan Mayer stumbled upon an organization in her community called Freecycle while trying to help a friend obtain extra formula for her baby. She discovered that the local chapter was made up of a set of local community groups, where members offer items they can no longer use to others who can make use of them. This keeps these items out of landfills and helps out local families. This has prompted Susan to stop and ask herself "Can someone use this?" before throwing out many items like furniture or clothing. She's also now active in the group, helping moderate and she actively promotes the concept to all she meets. She's helped organize relief efforts through a sister organization, coordinating help for local flood victims and fostering this belief system in her young son. Susan will be assisted by franchise owner Craig Watson to add new hardware and convenience items, like roll-out trays, to her painted cabinet kitchen.
About Kitchen Tune-Up – Kitchen Tune-Up specializes in kitchen and bath remodeling. They offer wood reconditioning "Tune-Ups", cabinet refacing and redooring, custom cabinetry, no-sand wood floor restoration and acrylic bathtub liners. Franchises are available nationwide and in Canada. Learn more at kitchentuneup.com.