Extreme Home Makeover: Grommesh home goes to refugee familyMoorhead, Minn. (WDAY TV) - An emotional Grommesh family has returned to Fargo-Moorhead! Just hours ahead of Extreme Makeover's much-anticipated reveal tomorrow afternoon, but that is not the only big reveal. A refugee family who came from war-torn Kosovo and whose children befriended Garrett Grommesh at school received their first home tonight. Garrett's old home, a home he insisted goes to them.
By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY
Hundreds gathered for the first Extreme Makeover surprise in 24-hours. After a week away in the Bahamas, the Grommeshes returned to a rock-star homecoming back in Fargo Moorhead.
But the emotions quickly changed, when the family with them, the Hajdari, who immigrated here ten years ago from Kosovo, learned the Grommeshes old home had been moved to an empty lot in North Moorhead and would become their first home. It is a house for this family of six.
“This is like big surprise. I don't know what is going on.”
Tears and hugs as two families shared disbelief, elation, and thanks at this exchange of gifts. The father, now a greeter at Wal-Mart appeared to be in shock. Garrett who became close friends with 9-year old Arlinda, quietly insisted the old Grommesh home go to the Hajdari because the family of six lived in an apartment. Today, a hug between the two said it all.
VALDETE HAJDARIMOTHER OF FOUR: “I cannot believe such a nice family.”
Over the last few days the old Grommesh home itself had a mini makeover. It will be easier for Mr. Hajdari to get around, following a disabling injuries he got in an accident. For the family a dream come true.
“Happy that it can open my life.”
The crowd simply stood back and cheered. Family of the Grommeshes said this is what the week is all about.
“From their heart.”
ALENE ROEGLINSISTER OF ADAIR GROMMESH: “This is almost better than tomorrow because this is what Bill and Adair and the kids are all about: Giving.”
Two families, separated by a language barrier and different cultures, today held each other. Lives changed. A community touched, and one persistent and precious 9-year old child who made it all happen.
As part of the project, Concordia College announced a major gift to both families at the sight of first reveal. Garrett and Peighton Grommesh will receive a full ride. The four Hajdaris children will split a scholarship package worth 160-thousand dollars for four years of school.
Officials with Concordia say the Grommeshes and their organization, HOPE INC, are inspiring examples of what impact people can have on a community. With leadership and service a big part of the college's mission, officials call it an honor to help both families.
“It is fantastic to be able to do something like this. A life changing experience and to think Concordia was founded by Norwegian immigrants and now we are helping an immigrant family coming for opportunity in this country and be part if this it is quite rewarding.”
The big reveal is between 2:00 and 4:00 tomorrow afternoon. About 15-thousand people are expected. 8th Street South will be closed from 8 a-m to 6 p-m between 20th and 24th Avenues. Traffic is detoured to 20th Street. The public is invited. For parking information, go to www.cityofMoorhead.com.