Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Move that bus!

Approximately 50 Gannon student athletes, coaches and cheerleaders helped renovate the home of Erie native Clara Ward for ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” June 26. The special two-hour episode is slated to air 8 p.m. Sunday.

Ward, 70, of 650 E. 21st St., founded the former Youth Development Center, which works with neglected and abused children, in her home. Show host Ty Pennington and the gang worked with Maleno Real Estate and Development – and, of course, the Gannon volunteers – to renovate Ward’s house in one week over the summer.

Members of Gannon’s Panhellenic Council and the Pi Kappa Alpha social fraternity will also be assisting with an open house 6-9 p.m. Dec. 17 to showcase Ward’s new home to the public. They will be greeting and controlling traffic as parking attendants and escorts, registering guests, serving food and selling Claytopia tiles made by the children.

Junior pre-med/biology major Anthony Firetto, a PKA brother, said he received an invitation to volunteer at the open house because he had one of the highest service hour rates in his fraternity.

“Whenever I’m given the opportunity to do community service, it gets me excited to volunteer within my community – especially something as big as this,” he said. “Being able to participate within such a large event that makes a big difference in someone’s life is truly something that I cherish and will remember forever.”

For more about Ward’s story and the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition building experience, click here for an article printed in the July 3 edition of the Erie Times-News.

Want to read more about Gannon students and their volunteer efforts? Check out our photo galleries of GIVE Day or Hunger and Homelessness Week’s Box City.