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Friday, May 31, 2019

Windham business owner volunteers with “Military Makeover” on Lifetime® TV

Mindy with Jennifer Bertrand and Art Edmonds
By Lorraine Glowczak

This Friday morning, May 31 at 7:30 a.m., the Lifetime TV channel will begin another edition of the television series, “Military Makeover with Montel”. According to the website, this series, “offers hope and a helping hand here on the home front to members of our military and their loved ones. Talk show legend and military advocate Montel Williams, a veteran of both the Marine Corps and the Navy, leads the makeover team’s mission.”

The website also states, “this special series enlists conscientious designers, contractors, landscapers and other home improvement professionals to transform the homes and lives of military families across the country.”

It just so happens that local business owner, Mindy Zink of Half Moon Décor and Design Studio will use her expertise with Chalk Paint®, a Decorative Paint by Annie Sloan will be among the many conscientious home improvement professionals you’ll see in this Lifetime’s latest series.

“I wanted to give back in some way,” began Zink, whose father is a veteran of the Airforce. “I don’t watch much television, but I did see a “Military Makeover” episode and I realized that I could volunteer my experiences with chalk painting. So, I simply emailed them to see if they could use my services.”

https://www.egcu.org/homeThe response from the show’s producer was immediate, Zink said and before long, she was accepted to be a part of the next series. But a family emergency created a minor setback for Zink and her husband Stephen. “My mother-in-law had brain cancer and we decided to be with her and declined the offer.”

Although they feared the show wouldn’t invite them back for another opportunity, Zink and her husband felt it was the right decision to remain home with his mother as she faced her final days. But their concerns were unfounded, and the show invited them to their next project for a military family in Ashville, NY.

And just two weeks ago, Ashville is where Mindy and Stephen spent six days painting the two bathrooms in the home of Airforce veteran, Cody Willett and his wife. Willett was injured during a tour of duty in Afghanistan and was sent to a military hospital in Germany. This is where he met his wife. He currently experiences PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

The Zinks, who donated their time, travel, product and hotel stay, were among many of the home improvement professionals who worked together on this project – all under a deadline – with “together” being the key term of the experience. “There was every contractor under the sun in the house at the same time,” stated Zink. “There was a specific window of time and we all had to do our projects together while television crews were filming.”
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That is no easy feat when you are painting. “The insulation guy was running behind and was installing insulation while I was painting. I was literally standing in a foot of insulation. Add in the fact that there was dust from sanding made painting under a time constraint difficult. Oh!,” Zink recalled something further. “It was cold in New York, too. This delayed the time for the paint to dry.”
But despite the difficulties, the Zinks and the other contractors felt very little stress. “There was a sense of camaraderie among us and no one felt discouraged even as we were working elbow to elbow,” she said. “It was an uplifting experience. Everyone was happy. No animosity and no
negativity.”

When asked if she got to meet Montel Williams, Zink stated that she, her husband along with other crew members and contractors sat with him as they ate a meal together. But because he is known to very reserved, the contractors were asked to respect his privacy. As a result, no conversation occurred between the well-known host and the Zinks. Did this disappoint Zink. “No. It wasn’t the reason why I was there.”

The real purpose of giving back to those who served will continue. The Zinks will be traveling to Florida in July for another “Military Makeover” episode - where the paint will dry slowly once again. This time, instead of the cold – it will be the heat. But Zink would quickly point out that these challenges are small compared to those experiences of the brave who serve.

The “Military Makeover” series consists of five episodes. The following is a list of the dates and times of the Willett family home makeover -where one will get to spot our local celebrities in action:

Episode 1 – May 31 and June 7
Episode 2 – June 14 and June 21
Episode 3 – June 28 and July 4
Episode 4 – July 5 and July 11
Episode 5 – July 12 and July 18


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