Interior designer Tiffany Brooks recently had the pleasure of drawing the 2016 HGTV Dream Home winner’s name and surprising him and his wife in an ambush at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on the Huntington Green just days before the official announcement is due to be made. But social media has resulted in the leak of the winner’s name in advance of that announcement from the Home and Garden Television show. And here is a recap of how it all came out–and what we now know about David “Dave” Rennie.
On March 22 the HGTV Blog reported that Tiffany Brooks had drawn the winner’s name out of 177 million entries. The official dream home site also told readers to:
Be on the lookout next week, because we will be announcing our lucky winner!”
The first person to comment to the post was Iamflourishing, who congratulated the Rennie family by name and pointed out that it is “all over Facebook” and even mentioned the names and provided links to the various individuals–Mark Smiles Facebook and Dave Cribbons Facebook–who claimed to know the winner personally.
Wow! My friend David Rennie just won the 2016 HGTV Dream Home!” Mark Smiles’ Facebook post states.
And Dave Cribbons posted this message on Facebook:
At St. Pauls today Usher…Then witnessed when cameras from HGTV GAVE AWAY THEIR 1.5 million dream home to Dave Rennie a parishioner! So nice to have him win. He has been a dedicated servant through Scouting throughout his entire life. God is good!”
In addition, photos of Dave Rennie and his wife Meg are shown on their church’s website with Brooks, the official host of this year’s dream home event. There are photos that show the couple standing with Brooks, microphone in hand, beside the dream car of choice, a 2016 Acadia Denali, as well as photos of the couple with her in the church’s interior reception area.
The Home and Garden Television show has not acknowledged that Dave Rennie is the winner of the 2016 HGTV Dream Home, as one would not expect them to do, since they usually try to give the winner time to get their ducks in a row before announcing to the world that they–out of 177 million entries–were the entrant chosen to receive the Merritt Island, Fla. dream home, 2016 Acadia Denali and Bryant Sperenza boat. But in the coming days all those who entered and did not get an ambush visit will learn the name of the winner from the horse’s mouth for themselves. But in the meantime, how about a look at the man social media has proclaimed the winner of this year’s dream home? A man who has taken to social media himself for a great cause; a cause that is near and dear to his own heart: kidney transplants.
Dave’s Dialysis Diary chronicles what life has been like for the over-50 gentleman that social media shows won this year’s biggest home giveaway prize. It details the ups, the downs and all the things one might expect someone needing a kidney transplant to go through as they wait, receive and then fight off their own body’s efforts at rejecting such a gift of life. The diary also reveals the personal challenges this Shelton, CT. winner has endured since his diagnosis of End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) and dialysis treatment that began in May 2013. In addition, Dave shines a light on the blessings he and three other men received along the way in his most recent March 24 Dave’s Dialysis Diary blog post:
4 women donated [kidneys] to four men and changed our lives forever.”
One of those donors was Meg, Dave’s wife, who donated to a man in Saybrook, while Dave received his kidney from a woman from Mystic. And the wife of the man in Saybrook turned around and donated her kidney to help a man from New Haven, which prompted that man’s wife to donate a kidney to a man in Stamford.
This is a story of the joys of serving others for decades as an employee with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) organization, then the struggle of needing to take long-term disability in order to address his declining kidney health while also desiring to return to work later, when he got better. It is the story of one man’s journey from a life of employment to the empty hours and physical challenges that followed, as well as the loving support of a wife that never wavered and a faith that remained steadfast, too.
Dave Rennie shows America in his WordPress blog posts that sometimes life makes you think you are going stir crazy, and that the future is lonely and bleak-looking but then God turns it all around and the next thing you know you are being told you are the winner of a new home, new car, new boat and $250,000 in cash when you had just about given up on even being able to ever go back to work again.
This year’s HGTV Dream Home 2016 winner’s story may truly be the most inspiriting to date if David ‘Dave’ Rennie is officially announced as the new winner next week, and he chooses to use his blog voice to encourage and inspire all those who need to hear that “with God all things are possible,” including winning a million-dollar home out of 177 million entries. And, hopefully, his story will inspire others to do like his wife Meg did an donate a kidney to help someone else who was in Dave’s position just one year ago this month. And it is all happening during March, which is National Kidney Month.