Men on the Move would like to take this opportunity to introduce ourselves to you. Men on the Move is a locally owned and operated moving company which has been serving southeastern Michigan since 1991.
An ‘Extreme’ thrill Reality for 2 businesses is helping family
By Sue Mason
Staff Writer Gary Bulson is planning a party. His idea is to takeover Marvaso’s Italian Grill for dinner and some TV with a group of friends and employees at his Men on the Move moving company. He hasn’t settled on a date yet. Sometime in late September, early October, but the exact date will be determined by Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
You see, Men on the Move was the go-to business for moving everything out of the Oak Park home of Larry and Judy Vardon and their sons, Stefan, 14, and Lance, 12, for a seven-day makeover that will air during the popular ABC-TV reality show’s second season. “It was hard to do, but it’ll be fun to watch when it comes on TV,” Bulson said. “It was one of the most emotional ones they did and they anticipate it’ll the first or second show in the new season.” Bulson isn’t sure if any of his volunteers will be seen on the show, but Men on the Move has been guaranteed a credit at the end and a listing on the show’s Web site for donating goods and services.
How the Westland firm got to help with the show was a case of who you know, so to speak. Men on the Move is the metropolitan Detroit connection for USA Packing, which signed on to do the next eight Makeover shows. “I got a call from them and asked if we wanted to do it, to donate our time,” Bulson said. “We put it together in less than a week. We found out for sure on Monday and had to be there in Friday.”It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.” For the uninitiated, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition features a race against time as a team of designers, contractors and several hundred workers have just seven days to totally rebuild an entire house – every single room, plus the exterior and landscaping.
With the Vardons’ house, the race began at 2 p.m. Aug. 6, when Men on the Move went in to pack up. The 18 volunteers had just five hours to pack everything up before the transformation began. It was no easy task, since the family didn’t find out until the morning of Aug. 5 that their 980-square-foot bungalow had been picked. Up until that time, they only knew that they were among the five finalists. “This was unique because the people weren’t planning to move,” Bulson said.
“Everything they used on a daily basis was still there. Normally, when we come in, 90 percent of the time it’s packed and we just load it on the truck and take it to a new location.” But having to pack everything didn’t prove to be an obstacle for the Men on the Move volunteers, who managed to finish up with 45 minutes to spare. Bulson took two trucks and a van for the move and was able to use boxes, tape and other supplies donated by Shurgard Storage. The belongings were loaded into seven metal loading pods, provided by WE-HAUL Mini Storage.”We were thrilled to be able to participate,” said Matthew Kamins of WE-HAUL.
“It was an opportunity to do something nice.” WE-HAUL brought seven of its finished steel containers to the home. One stayed there with pieces of furniture and items the family wanted to keep on site, while the rest went into storage at WE-HAUL’s 75,000-square-foot warehouse on Braden near I-94 and Livernois. The containers are watertight and weather tight and compact enough to fit on a driveway or in a parking space. They’ll stay at the warehouse until the family decides what they want from storage. When that’s done, WE-HAUL will be told what to do with the remaining goods.
According to Bulson, things like the appliances will be donated to Habitat for Humanity. “It’s an opportunity to help a family that has a real need,” said, Kamins, a Southfield resident. “It’s part of our give-back program.” According to Bulson, there was something familiar among the food catered in for the volunteers. After hearing about the makeover from him, Westland merchant Mary Denning donated cakes and muffins from her cake shop.
Bulson admits he knew the show was popular and that providing the moving service was a “good fit” for Men on the Move. But he didn’t do it for “the PR.” “We did it to help someone out,” he said. “It was cool to be behind the scenes, right up there, but to help someone in need. Also, it was a double positive situation.” Kamins feels the same way.”It was neat,” he said. “I still don’t know how we’ll use the publicity, but that wasn’t the driving force to do this.” So when the show does air, look closely. You just may recognize some of those people running around in blue Extreme Makeover: Home Edition T-shirts.