By: Sharon Aron Baron
The family of Chris Hixon, the coach who sacrificed his life saving students during the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, was treated to a much-deserved reminder of the positive things in life.
His wife, Debbi, who lives in Hollywood with her son, Corey, 24, and has another son, Tom, 27, in California, was married to Chris. For the past ten days, volunteers with the Military Makeover show is treating her with a new home makeover.
In its third season, Military Makeover with Montel provides designers, contractors, landscapers and other home improvement professionals the opportunity to transform the homes and lives of military families.
U.S. Navy veteran Hixon, a retired machinist mate First Class bravely served his country in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm and Desert Shield in 2007. Tragically, his life was taken by a school shooter in 2018.
Debbi, who was in the process of searching for a contractor to repair her kitchen, was overjoyed when she was notified in July that she had been chosen.
A teacher for over 30 years, Debbi is currently the magnet coordinator at South Broward High School’s Marine Science Maritime Program and is running for the Broward School Board in the August 2020 race.
While at work over the summer, Montel Williams visited her school with a camera crew in tow, surprising her with the news that she had been selected for the television show.
On Friday, Broward County Commissioner Michael Udine was at Hixon’s Hollywood, FL home for the big reveal and said the home looks like night and day.
“This was a 1950’s house, and they reconstructed it. I don’t know how they did it in ten days, but they did.”
At the reveal was Parkland Mayor Christine Hunschofsky; Hollywood Mayor Josh Levy; Andrew Koenig, President of Tamarac’s City Furniture, who donated all of the furniture for the home; Debt.com President, Don Silvestri — a Parkland resident who was a sponsor of the event; Parkland Cares, a recipient charity; The Florida Panthers; and BrandStar.
“People put their best foot forward during this makeover. There was a lot of Chris’ influence in the house,” said Udine. “It’s just beautiful. It really happened to a family so deserving. They lost so much.”
The episode will air on February 14, 2020.