Southern Bleacher helps rebuild Joplin, Mo. as part of ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 
New bleachers installed in Joplin's tornado-ravaged Cunningham Park

Joplin, MO, December 7, 2011

The Southern Bleacher Company, based in Graham, Texas, has completed their role in the massive restoration effort in tornado-ravaged Joplin, Mo. as one of the sponsors and donors behind the 200th-anniversary "Big Build" episode of ABC's popular TV reality show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, slated to air in January, 2012.

Southern Bleacher donated and installed bleachers to seat 108 spectators as part of the reconstruction of an outdoor basketball court in historic, Cunningham Park, Joplin's first park, established in 1898 and part of the tornado's "ground zero." 

"Our roots are in Western Arkansas, and we wanted to help our neighbor," said Garrett Pettus, vice president of Southern Bleacher. "Like the rest of the country, we were shocked and saddened by the loss in this community, and we're proud to play a role in helping them rebuild."

Joplin's parks director Chris Cotton told The Joplin Globe that the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition project will make Cunningham Park "better than it was before," with more trees and the restoration of a long-forgotten fountain more than  a hundred years old and rediscovered in the aftermath of the storm. 

The reality show will also document the building of seven houses in seven days for families who lost their homes in the disaster. AOL TV reports that in addition to participating sponsors, the project will require the help of 14 local builders, 4,500 skilled volunteers and 5,000 general volunteers.

"When we looked at possible providers, Southern Bleacher was the clear choice as the industry leader," said Diane Korman, a senior producer for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. "Garrett didn't hesitate to be a part of this project, and they had the bleachers built, on-site and installed in what must be record time."

On May 22, a rare EF5-level tornado (signifying winds of more than 200 mph) tore through Joplin. The storm caused 161 deaths, making it the deadliest tornado in National Weather Service official records, dramatically surpassing the earlier record of a tornado that struck Flint, Mich. in 1953 and killed 116.

About Southern Bleacher Company

Southern Bleacher Company ( is the nation's largest and most experienced manufacturer of spectator seating, providing new construction and renovations for major league and university stadiums, NASCAR facilities, rodeo arenas and high school sports fields across the United States. Family-owned since its first day of business in 1946, the company has worked with planning committees, architects and contractors over three generations to set the standard of excellence in the design and manufacturing of entertainment venues, drawing on vast experience in building-code and safety requirements, accessibility issues and optimal lines of sight. Southern Bleacher's comprehensive services include budget analysis, estimates, proposal drawings and specifications, provided at no cost to create facilities that are aesthetically pleasing, spectator-friendly and cost effective.

About ABC-TV's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

The Emmy award-winning reality program Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, now in its ninth season, is produced by Endemol USA, a division of Endemol Holding. It is executive-produced by Brady Connell and George Verschoor. David Goldberg is chairman, Endemol North America. Episodes air Friday nights from 8:00 - 9:00 p.m., eastern time, on ABC.

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Media Contact:
Garrett Pettus
Southern Bleacher