From the Chowan Herald:
On Saturday brother and sister, Aaron and Windy Cooper, met outside their home in Jamesville with the press and well-wishers who brought them gifts.
They, and their parents, Jeff and Clara, were the recipients of home unveiled just the evening before by the crew of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."
Organizers said Saturday that Jeff Cooper, a decorated Gulf War veteran, was simply overwhelmed by all the excitement and decided not to attend. His wife, who is also his caregiver, decided to stay by his side.
Speaking on behalf of the family, Windy expressed their gratitude to all those who had given so much to make this happen.
She said she knew that all the gifts were given "from the heart" and not because people were looking for public recognition. It was done, she said, because people cared. Among the gifts presented to the family were an American flag flown over the Capitol building from Sen. Richard Burr and his staff. The family spent the week in Washington, D.C., waiting for their house to be finished.
The Martin County Ministerial Association presented a family Bible, and two Edenton women, Diane Ryan and Lou Rogers, gave a 12-block handmade quilt titled "A Community Joins Together."
BUT THE BIGGEST SURPRISE OF THE AFTERNOON CAME WHEN WINDY COOPER WAS INTRODUCED TO A SPECIAL GUEST, ASHLEY FIOLEK OF FLORIDA.
Fiolek is the 2008 Women's Motocross National Champion, and Windy is a big fan of the sport. Her visit was made possible after an Edenton volunteer, Kristie Mize, heard Windy talking about her love for motocross. Mize, whose son, Marcus, also participates in the sport, called the national headquarters to make arrangements for the visit.
"It really meant a lot to me to see how touched Windy was," Mize said. "She got kind of teary-eyed when she was talking about how free riding a motorcycle makes her feel, about how she could forget everything else and just be herself when she rides. I think a lot of people could probably relate to that."
Mize said that she was also able to secure $2,000 worth of motocross equipment for Windy Cooper and her family, who are also fans of the sport, due to the generosity of businesses and distributors. "Everybody I asked wanted to help once I told them what was going on," she said. "I had companies give stuff from as far away as California and Utah."
Turner's Honda was among the donors. The Elizabeth City-based business gave a helmet for Windy's use.