Heritage Ministries and Homestead Stables by Heritage in Gerry, NY was a site for the filming of a portion of the television show “Military Makeover with Montel Williams” this week.
The show, which airs on Lifetime TV, features the story of Ashville, NY resident Cody Willett, an Air Force veteran who was severely injured during his deployment, and his wife Jessica. Shortly after the birth of their second child, Cody learned of “Military Makeover With Montel,” a home improvement show on Lifetime that, according to the series, “aims to respect those who have served our country, rebuild the homes — and even the lives — of these brave service men and women, and repay veterans for the service and sacrifice they’ve made for us.”
When selecting a site to film scenes for the show outside of the makeover site, executives agreed that Homestead Stable’s commitment to working with veterans made them a perfect fit. “Homestead Stables by Heritage, is extremely proud to be selected as not only a filming site, but as a community partner, who for over 130 years has served seniors and veterans, and with our programming at the stables, we are privileged to serve all ages. As a local not-for-profit, it’s our responsibility to live our mission, and serve those within our community, and remain a trusted industry leader in offering human services. Being able to come alongside the show with N.E.I.G.H. and the Constance Project is an absolute blessing to us and fits within our mission to promote HOPE, DIGNITY and PURPOSEFUL LIVING,” said Lisa Haglund, Heritage Vice-President of Marketing and Development.
Heritage residents Lynn Watrous, Hank Storm, and Marge McGinnis were selected for filming that highlighted active seniors who enjoy their time riding at Homestead Stables. Watrous and Storm are both United States military veterans, so this moment had extra special meaning for them. Joining them during the ride were several youth who also ride at Homestead Stables, both alongside seniors and as a part of the WNY Equestrian team, promoting intergenerational activities.
Additionally, the N.E.I.G.H. (National Educational Institute of Growth through Horses) program is headquartered at Homestead Stables and empowers individuals by equipping them with the tools necessary to improve communication, confidence, respect, and goal setting. The program also includes a component known as “Beyond the Reins” which focuses on experiences for at- risk youth, battered women, and communication workshops, and N.E.I.G.H. University, which offers certification, apprenticeships, and practitioner training. Dawn Samuelson, N.E.I.G.H. Director, shared, “I am both honored and blessed to have Heritage work with me to present N.E.I.G.H. at Homestead Stables. They truly believe in giving back to our veterans, and their mission of serving others mirrors my desire to work with active military members, veterans, and their families to help prevent suicide and aid them in the many struggles they face – both physical and emotional.”
An air date will be announced by Lifetime and other national syndicates.