Gabbi took these photos from the site of "Extreme Home Makeover" when her school greeted classmate Jackie Girard as she saw her new home. This day was also her brother Lucas' 12th birthday.
The castle theme refers to the fact that her father and brother Marc who died in a tragic swimming accident last summer were very active in the Knights of Lepanto at the Friary of Our Lady of Guadalupe in nearby Griswold.
Gabbi said that Jackie said, "LOOK at this house!" when she was turned around to see it. Lots of crying and hugging ensued, then the family were led inside to see their fully furnished home, which has a bedroom for each of the five family members.
Governor Rell declared Thursday December 11 "Girard Family Day". It was so gratifying to see this lovely family who has given so much to the community received back some much needed support. Thanks to the Friars of Our Lady of Guadalupe Friary who submitted the video explaining the family's plight to the show, they are living in a castle.
Those who know the family, however, know how bittersweet this moment is. IF Thom and Marc could be back on earth with them, the family would trade this incredible house in one minute.
The leftover stones from the house will go to build the Marian Bell Tower at the Friary in honor of the fallen Knights of Lepanto, Thom and Marc.