Producers of the HGTV show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" have selected a Bakersfield family to receive a home that's likely to change its members' lives for the better. In other words, the easy part is done.

Now for the hard part: finding enough volunteers to help build the house from the ground up.

So, who's in?

A "pep rally" has been scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday at the Fox Theater, 2001 H St., to recruit people willing to volunteer their time — or money, resources, etc. — to help bring this charitable effort to life in a span of less than a week.

What makes the whole thing interesting at this point, or challenging, depending on your perspective, is the mystery surrounding who will ultimately get to live in the home.

Don't think that, by attending Monday's rally, you'll find out who the new owners will be. The show's producers aren't telling, and neither is the local homebuilder helping organize the project, John Balfanz Homes Inc.

"The family has zero idea so we don’t want to risk them finding out!" Sarah Balfanz, a representative of the company, said by email Friday.

She's serious, too. She wouldn't even spill the beans on where the house will be built. But she did disclose where the money for all this is coming from: donations, volunteers and subcontractors working with John Balfanz Homes.

Anyone deciding to show up at the pep rally — and the hope is hundreds, if not thousands, of people will agree to donate their time — can expect to receive instructions from producers of Extreme Makeover. (Hint: All kinds of work will be needed, from food-serving to creating signage. Some details are available online at

The TV show, once described a "feel-good/tearjerker" series, focuses on the family that has been identified by the producers as in need of a home. It documents the homebuilding process and even shows some done by the many volunteers involved.

The show is planned to air sometime in 2020.

John Cox can be reached at 661-395-7404. Follow him on Twitter: @TheThirdGraf. Sign up for free newsletters about local business at

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