Stagecoach family is getting new digs

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

STAGECOACH - Merry Sue Rutherford and her husband, Eric, stood in the chilly morning air at the corner of Shoshone Drive and Cimmaron Trail on Friday morning and looked toward the home of Mary and Steve Boettcher.

The place was abuzz with activity. Television crews milled about and security blocked access to the area.

"Our daughter is going to be so thrilled," said Merry. "She lives for that youth group."

Before Thanksgiving, the Boettchers, founders of the Christian youth group Soul'd Out Ministries, learned they were in the running for a new house from ABC television's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."

If the dozens of trucks and vehicles connected to the hit television program that were clogging the streets didn't give it away, there was no doubting that they had been selected when show host Ty Pennington squealed through a bullhorn just before 8 a.m., "Good Morning Boettcher family!"

Merry said the youth group was a life saver in this rural community, 16 miles east of Dayton. Her 16-year-old daughter Sara is a member.

Neighbor Samantha Tressler agreed.

"It's pretty much all there is for kids to do out here," she said.

"Pastor Steve's whole thing is he's not doing this for a new house," Merry added. "He's doing it for the youth group."

Steve and Mary Boettcher, along with their 20-year-old daughter, Stephanie, and her 18-month-old son, Joshua, are living on an acre of land, in a 1972 single-wide mobile home just over 700 square feet.

A garage gives the family another 700 feet where they hold their youth groups for high-schoolers on Wednesday night and middle-schoolers on Thursday night.

Steve, who works as a garage door installer, runs Soul'd Out Ministries.

His wife, Mary, works as a prevention strategist for a nonprofit, teaching school children of the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Once a week, the Boettchers - out of their own pocket - feed anywhere from 25-40 kids looking for a hot meal.

Their grandson, Joshua, was born with a series of medical problems that require the use of a tracheotomy tube and oxygen. He is due to have surgery soon, and they are hoping that he will then be able to come off the tube and oxygen, ABC said.

The one-week demolition and rebuild of the Boettcher home by "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" begins Sunday at noon and goes through Friday.

Reno contractors West Haven Development Group was selected by "Extreme Makeover" to spearhead the construction.

"Everyone who is working on this project is contributing their time, their services and their supplies free of charge. We couldn't do this without the public's support," said Lou Borrego, CEO of West Haven. "Right now, we're really counting on the community to come together to help us build this wonderful, incredibly deserving family a new home.

"Anything they can contribute to the project is greatly appreciated - whether it's time, money or simply coming out to Stagecoach to show the teams working around the clock your support - it's a chance to help change lives, to help build the American Dream."

Borrego said he hoped to see hundreds if not thousands of people on Sunday to witness the demolition and then again on Friday at 2 p.m., when the family returns to Nevada from a week's vacation in Hawaii for the big "reveal."

The design team for this episode of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" will feature team leader Pennington and designers Rib Hills, Tanya McQueen, Eduardo Xol and John Littlefield.

"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," is in its fifth season on ABC. The episode "Boettcher Family" will air during the 2008-09 season.

• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at or 881-1213.

You can help

• To contribute to the "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" benefiting the Boettcher family, go to any Northern Nevada Wells Fargo and ask to donate to the "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" account No. 3393936103. Checks should be made payable to West Haven Development Group and all funds go directly toward the Boettcher home project. Any remaining funds will be used for the Boettcher family benefit after construction is complete.

• For information on volunteering during the "Extreme Build," now through Friday, contact Cynthia Osborn, West Haven Development, at 850-7999.

• For information on the "Extreme Build," log on to or call 850-7999. For details on West Haven Development Group, visit


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