From left, Ben Akana, holding 2 month old Poli, Momi Akana (back), 8-year-old Maka ( front), 14-year-old Keahi (back), 12-year-old Kuulei, (front). At far right is Jeffrey Prostor, president of Brookfield Homes Hawaii, the construction company that volunteered to build the Akana family's new Kalihi home for Disney's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition TV show. CLICK FOR LARGE
Kalihi family getting home 'Makeover'
The Akanas vacation in Canada while "Extreme Makeover" crews rebuild
In a closely guarded selection process, ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" chose the Hawaii family it found most worthy of a brand-new custom home.
Yesterday morning, host Ty Pennington knocked on the door at 3030 Kalihi St. and notified the jubilant -- and astonished -- Akanas that their lives were about to change.
Last night, the crew packed the family's belongings and whisked them off to a vacation in Whistler, British Columbia, where they'll ride horses, bikes and whitewater rapids while hundreds of volunteers rebuild their home in six days, according to senior producer Diane Korman.
Volunteers will conduct the "Braveheart" march to the house this morning before demolition begins.
Theresa "Momi" Akana started Keiki O Ka Aina Family Learning Centers as a struggling single mom on welfare with three young kids 11 years ago. The nonprofit provides educational programs to native Hawaiians who could not otherwise afford them. She used her food stamps to buy snacks for the center, which she operated out of her home until recently, leaving it in a state of disrepair.
Last year, Momi remarried and had another child, Poli, who has Down syndrome and now is 2 months old.
The two-hour season premiere featuring the Akanas and their Kalihi Valley neighborhood will air in September.