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Pulling an all-nighter

By Staff | Oct 7, 2008

No doubt about it. A crew from Christensen Construction of Estherville definitely put in a long day this past Friday and Saturday.

After working a full six hours at their regular job, Tony Gossman, Cliff Egeland, Dick Thornburg, Ralph Wilson, Jesse James, Connie Gossman and Brian DeVries headed up to a rural site near Albert Lea, Minn., to help build a roof for the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition television program.

Gossman and his crew left Estherville noon Friday, worked all night, and returned 6:30 a.m. Saturday.

“It went good,” said Gossman, Christensen crew foreman. “It was unreal. There was a solid 1,000. At times there were 2,000 people.” All donated their time to help demolish and rebuild a home for a family in need. At one point, Gossman said there were 300 working on the roof alone.

“They were like ants,” Gossman said.

So what was it like, working with so many other people, professionals and volunteers alike, at the same time?

“It was a very good experience,” Gossman said.

Fortunately, everyone was very patient.

Understandably, the whole operation had to be organized like clockwork.

“They all had their own task,” Gossman said. “It was a football team kind of like.”

The Christensen crew helped put a brown metal VSR roof on the home. While they looked around for the stars of the program, they didn’t see them.

“They told us they were around there. We didn’t see any,” Gossman said.

In addition to labor, all materials were donated. Even though he was in the middle of it all, Gossman was amazed at the scale of it all.

“It looked like an interstate all night around going through the cornfield,” he said. He estimated there were “thousands” of people watching the crews work.