By PATTI CONHEENEY
May 24, 2016 at 2:00 AM
CRANFORD, NJ – A request rooted in a mother’s love, a positive review written on a job well done, a telephone call answered and the desire to give back, brought a few local businesses and a national TV show together.
Cranford resident and owner of Cranford-based TimberRidge Construction, Anthony Carbone is the first to admit, he rarely answers the phone when it rings at the office, his staff does. In March when the phone rang at the Timber Ridge office, the staff was occupied and Carbone saw NBC Universal come up on the caller ID, he answered. Andrew Bank, recruiter for the home makeover show “George to the Rescue” was on the other end and wanted to know if Carbone would be interested is a charitable makeover.
“Everyone is looking for a way to give back and when this opportunity presented itself, I couldn’t say no,” Carbone said.
Positive reviews, one in particular about timing on HOUZZ.com caught Bank’s attention, so he reached out to Carbone, who committed and went along with Bank to meet the Lissade family of Plainfield; Dad Claude, Mom Robbie, 13-year-old Nye, who is autistic with a second-grade verbal level and quiet and four-year-old full of energy Evan. “Once you meet the family, you can’t help but want to help,” Carbone said of the initial visit.
For George Oliphant, host of “George to the Rescue”, this is his 76th makeover and the connections he makes with these contractors and families last a lifetime. “Every time I do a rescue my family gets bigger, we begin as strangers, by the end, I wouldn’t hesitate to call up Anthony and say ‘Hey, How’s it going and get together,’ Oliphant said.
Oliphant loves “surprise day” when they have no idea the rescue is coming, “it is totally organic.” He admits his favorite is “reveal day”, when the family sees the renovation for the first time, Oliphant said, “I always exceeds their expectations as well as my own, which are very high.”
Mom Robbie was the one to write into the show, she wanted to transform old basement into a multipurpose play/entertainment space for sons and her husband. Robbie said, “Claude is an incredible husband and dad and deserves it and to give the kids a safe space to play.”