Now that the dust has settled and the official announcement has been made, the 2016 winner of the Home and Garden Television dream home contest is talking and Dave Rennie has a lot to say. Hearing about the ambush backstory from the winner directly, and in his own words (and so soon after the win), is a treat for all those who entered and follow this type of contest each year. And Dave does not disappoint, including his disclosure about the popular show’s host who shares something in common with him.
According to his March 28 Dave’s Dialysis Diary WordPress post, David Rennie had this to say about how HGTV showed up at his church for the Sunday ambush:
The church was planning to do a blessing for me and my wife for the 1 year anniversary of our Kidney Transplants at the Palm Sunday Service, very much like they did the Sunday before the Transplant last March. At the end of the blessing, Tiffany Brooks, who is also a Transplant Recipient [and the 2016 HGTV Dream Home ambush host], was at the Lectern and things got really crazy after that!”
Interior designer Tiffany Brooks was the ideal host for this year’s ambush given that she and Dave, as well as Dave’s wife Meg, all have kidney transplant experiences in their past. The three were able to rejoice together just knowing that someone who had weathered such a physical ordeal would awake one day to such a fabulous prize after already getting the prize of a lifetime: a needed kidney.
I thought getting a new kidney was my 15 minutes of fame — this is like winning the lottery for a second time!” Dave said
The former Boy Scouts of America longtime employee has spent the past two years chronicling his up-and-down journey of kidney renal failure, dialysis, kidney transplant surgery anticipation and all that has come since he got his new lease on life thanks to a donor named Patricia. And Dave has done this all on his Dave’s Dialysis Diary WordPress blog, which he has kindly kept up (and kept active online) in the wake of his wonderful new win. So those who know of someone struggling with their own kidney issues, especially those undergoing dialysis or waiting on a kidney transplant operation, can read about how Dave handled the issues he faced in his daily challenges. And they can celebrate that good things do happen to those suffering from such physical hardships.
Yahoo Finance reported on Monday that the 55-year-old winner said he “binge-watched HGTV during my treatments prior to my surgery,” and that he has regularly entered the dream home giveaway for years. So Dave’s win is encouraging to all the other families who keep sending in those mailed entries or entering online each time a dream home giveaway begins.
In addition, Dave is giving other HGTV Dream Home fans the opportunity to learn some ins and outs about winning such a prize, as he also stated on his blog on Monday that in addition to going to Florida with Meg to see his new home in the coming weeks, there is one aspect of the trip that the television audience does not usually know about or get to see:
There is a big dinner with all the sponsors of all the different aspects of the house.”
A dinner with all the sponsors, a new car, a new boat, a check for $250,000, and a new Florida home await this father of two adult daughters who he says played a significant role in planning this recent phenomenal surprise:
Meg and I had been totally in the dark but my daughters and son-in-law had been in on it for a couple of weeks!”
It had to be a hard surprise to keep from their parents, but Kate and Carolyn obviously did it well. And to think, if Kate’s husband Kenny had dismissed the voicemail message left by HGTV on his office phone, then he and Kate would not have been in on the secret for weeks before the big day occurred. His receptionist almost didn’t put the call through either, according to Dave, but who could have blamed her, it isn’t everyday someone calls and claims to be from the dream home giveaway organization.
This is truly a happy ending kind of story for a man who has spent a couple of years dealing with major medical challenges and his never-ending job search woes after becoming a long-term disability worker from the BSA. But now things are looking up even more since his kidney transplant a year ago and his HGTV Dream Home 2016 win this year. And the only thing left for Dave to decide is whether to uproot his family and move to Merritt Island, Florida or take the cash option and stay where so many people love and support him.
The decision may not be as hard as one might thing in this instance, however, since this family definitely does not need any more negative life circumstances medically, and yet one person doing electrical work for the HGTV Dream Home giveaway renovation project has already died in tragic circumstances at the boat dock area of the Indian River location. According to the Orlando Sentinel, a 37-year-old worker named James Sands was involved in an accidental electrocution at the Utopia Circle residence in October 2015 that ultimately claimed his life. And while we celebrate Dave’s good fortune, we also mourn and offer our condolences to the family of Sands, who must think this is anything but a dream home for their family.