Extreme Makeover family has hefty income, second home
HONOLULU (AP) A Honolulu woman whose family has moved into a new home built by thousands of volunteers for an upcoming ABC Extreme Makeover: Home Edition has a six-figure income and still has her original home, valued at $719,000, The Honolulu Advertiser reported Monday.Theresa Momi Akana is the head of a nonprofit organization she founded, Keiki O Ka Aina Preschool, Inc. And her husband, Ben, is a senior vice president for First Hawaiian Bank. Bankers at that level typically earn upward of $125,000 a year.Last month, the staff of Extreme Makeover, developer Brookfield Homes Hawaii and some 3,000 volunteers built the family a 3,500-square-foot home, plus a 4,500-square-foot community center for Akanas nonprofit organization.Akana was paid $97,018 in salary and $5,931 in benefits and expenses as head of a nonprofit organization she founded, according to the groups latest tax filing covering the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2005.Akana also received $22,000 in annual rent from her organization for use of the top floor of her old home, which the newspaper said she purchased with her former husband for $255,018. The county has assessed that house, which remains on a separate lot from the new complex, at $719,000.The episode featuring the Akana family is scheduled to air Sept. 23, to open the fifth season of the show. Their home is the largest project yet for the reality TV show that has helped nearly 100 families, including victims of Hurricane Katrina and a wounded Iraq war veteran, according to the shows Web site.Construction of the Honolulu home received extensive publicity, with access provided for media and invitations to the public to watch the construction.In a June news release, the show said the Akana family of six never had the money or expertise to make improvements to their home, which they still own. The new home was built on a separate property purchased by Akanas nonprofit in December for $2.7 million.Under a deal arranged by the show, Akana is leasing the Extreme Makeover home from her organization. Terms of the lease were not disclosed.Akana said she plans to turn her old house down the street into a transitional center for women getting out of prison.Akana told the newspaper that Extreme Makeover producers were aware of her salary and conducted an extensive financial background check.She said her family was picked because of Keiki O Ka Ainas work in the community.Founded in 1996 by Akana, the organization operates more than 40 traveling preschools and specializes in native Hawaiian cultural programs. It serves about 1,000 children and 1,000 parents each yearDenise Cramsey, executive producer of the shows creator Lock & Key Productions, told The Advertiser that income was just one of many factors considered in the selection process.The candidates need for a new home, the desperation of their plight and the amount of service that they do for the community are weighed heavily, she said.Cramsey said the show tries to assist people of all walks of life, who run into hardships.I think Momi certainly fits the bill, Cramsey said.Brookfield Homes also described the Akana family as deserving.We are most proud to have been a part of saying thank you to the Akana family for its great service to Hawaiis people, the company said.Cramsey said her show receives about 5,000 applicants for each of its weekly episodes and complaints about neediness often come up.
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