If you were watching "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" yesterday (and who wasn't?) then you were witness to some extreme generosity on the part of the Ford Motor Company who gave the featured family a brand new 2010 Fusion hybrid to go with their freshly refurbished house. The automaker's magnanimity didn't end there either. Unlike the years supply of gasoline your father's Ford Company might have given to go along with the car, the Ford of today chose instead to throw in a set of solar panels. Of course, the company doesn't make a vehicle that runs on electricity yet but, hey, it's the thought that counts.

The gesture makes the Drumm family one of the first in America to drive the Fusion hybrid as it will only arrive in showrooms in the Spring. Its EPA-rated 41 mpg in the city (we got 43.1!) is probably more than twice that of the hand-me-down van they had been driving. Such a good deed deserves a press release and we have that for you after the break.

[Source: Ford Motor Company]


Pennsylvania family receives Ford Fusion Hybrid on Sunday's 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition'

19 Jan 2009 , DEARBORN, Mich. : The Drumm family of Fayetteville, Pa., received the surprise of a lifetime on Sunday's episode of ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" – a new home and a brand new 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid.

After two of their children were born with special needs, Matt and Blasia Drumm dedicated their lives to making the world a better place for other children with unique challenges. Both parents quit their full-time jobs so that they could devote more time and attention to the boys – Donald and Nathan, now 15 and 12 – and both chose vocations that benefit other kids.

In addition to working as a freelance writer, Matt tutors disadvantaged elementary school children. Blasia works part-time as a substitute teacher's aide at a preschool for children with speech and language delays. During the summer months, both parents help manage the Challenger Little League, a baseball program for children with physical and mental challenges.

Unfortunately, the low-paying jobs left the family struggling financially. The house was in dire need of repair, and the Drumms were forced to sell their only means of transportation to help make ends meet.

"We were borrowing my mother-in-law's van, and if we had to be in two different places at the same time, I would borrow a van from my father," said Blasia.

But with Donald and Nathan requiring a minimum of three doctor visits per week, Blasia working part-time and a school schedule to contend with, borrowing a car all the time became problematic. It made it very difficult for the Drumms to visit their eldest son, 17-year-old Ben, who was attending a military academy in Virginia.

"My mother-in-law's van was not a new vehicle, and it would cost us anywhere from $60 to $80 to go and see our son," said Blasia. "The van had a lot of miles on it, and it really ate up gas."

After the big reveal of their new home on "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," the Drumms say they were astonished when they saw a brand new 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid pull up in the driveway.

"I was so excited to just have a vehicle and not have to worry about trying to figure out how we were going to get from one place to another," said Blasia. "And to have a new car that's so fuel efficient just takes a lot of worry off of us because we travel so much to doctor's appointments and to see my son at school."

The 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid, which will be available at dealerships this spring, is America's most fuel efficient mid-size sedan, with a certified 41 mpg rating in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, topping the Toyota Camry Hybrid by 8 mpg in the city and 2 mpg on the highway.

"Gas is a lot cheaper now than it was this time last year, but it's still a pretty major expense," added Matt.

With the Fusion and Milan Hybrids and the Escape and the Mariner Hybrids, Ford has doubled the size and volume of its hybrid lineup, making Ford the largest domestic producer of full hybrid vehicles in North America.

Ford, one of the first automotive manufacturers to employ renewable energy, also donated the solar panels for the Drumm family's new home solar power system.

"The idea of the home being more self-sustaining and not so dependent on the grid as we were before is pretty cool," said Matt. "I'm looking forward to not paying so much for electricity as I've done in the past."

With a new home a brand new car, Blasia says she intends to fulfill her dream of offering respite care at home.

"A lot of parents of children with unique challenges just need a break every now and then," she explained. "So I will take in a child maybe for a weekend or a week so that the parents can go on a vacation or just have a little break without the child. That's one of the things I've always wanted to do."

About "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition"
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, which has won back-to-back Emmy Awards as Best Reality Program (non-competitive), is now in its sixth season on ABC. The program, which airs Sunday nights at 8 p.m. EST, is produced by Endemol USA, a division of Endemol Holding. Anthony Dominici is the executive producer and David Goldberg is the president of Endemol USA.

About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 224,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company's core and affiliated automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo and Mazda. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.ford.com.

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