Reality TV star Jeff Lewis agrees to appear in local LFCS home tour

Friday, November 19, 2010

Start flipping out, Southeast Missouri. Jeff Lewis, the star of Bravo TV's reality home remodeling show "Flipping Out," will be present at the Lutheran Family and Children's Services of Missouri annual Holiday Home Tour.

The designer worked on one of the homes on the tour and agreed to fly out for a meet-and-greet to help the organization raise extra funds. Angie and Shannon Davis own the home on Fox Hollow off Lexington Avenue. They agreed to put their home on the tour because they thought tying Jeff Lewis Design to the home tour would help raise more money for LFCS.

"We always supported them by going on the home tour ourselves," Angie Davis said. But the couple had refrained from offering their own home.

"I just kind of felt like, it's just our house," she said. "But with this house, if it can help them with all the lost funding they've had, I want to do that."

LFCS lost $300,000 in Neighborhood Assistance Program tax credits when the Missouri Legislature cut the money from the budget. Knowing the losses LFCS had incurred, Davis said, she couldn't say no to helping with the Holiday Home Tour this year.

The home tour welcomes people into six homes in Cape Girardeau and Jackson while raising money for LFCS. It's one of the top two fundraisers the organization has.

Davis said she called Lewis to make sure she could advertise his name with the home and to ask if he would autograph a piece of furniture so they could auction it off. Lewis asked if she thought they could raise more money if he came to Cape Girardeau for the tour.

"I was like, 'Yeah, of course I think that would help,'" she said. "That's just how he is. Anything related to a children's cause, he gets behind."

LFCS helps families with domestic and international adoption services. The not-for-profit also offers single-parent family assistance programs, services for seniors and other family-building programs.

Davis, who grew up in a Lutheran household, attended Trinity Lutheran and had always known about and supported LFCS, said putting the home on the tour also spurred her to "put my head down and get this house finished."

The Davises began building the house about 18 months ago. With four children ranging from 13 to 4 months, they wanted a bigger home. They said they like their neighborhood -- a bundle of Craftsman-style homes off Lexington Avenue -- and bought two lots down the street from their first home. Once they had the outline approved by the neighborhood developer, they began coloring in the details: hardware, lighting, toilets, tile.

"When we started looking for all the stuff, I just said I'm going to lose my mind," Angie Davis said.

She and Shannon are both fans of "Flipping Out," and both like his work.

When she tells the story, it was her husband's idea.

"My husband said, 'Honey, if you can get Jeff Lewis to design the house, I'll pay for it.'"

When Shannon recounts it, Angie brought it up "off the cuff" and he flippantly said sure, go ahead. And she did.

She sent an e-mail explaining the house and their need for supervision but heard nothing. She sent another e-mail and then another with photos, the floor plan and a proposal. Then she called.

Lewis' assistant told Davis that Lewis would call her Sunday night for a 30-minute conversation. She told Shannon to be ready for a conference call.

"My jaw dropped and I said, 'really?'" he said.

After a two-hour conversation, they offered to fly him to Cape Girardeau to meet the family and see the project in person and the job began.

Lewis and some staff members flew to Southeast Missouri about once a month, the couple said, and they would talk to him weekly. They also e-mailed progress reports and questions.

The Davis family moved into their home in July, and will welcome visitors on the home tour Dec. 4. Lewis will be in town for a VIP exclusive event Dec. 3 with hors d'oeuvres, cocktails and a private tour of the home.

LFCS said there are a limited number of VIP tickets available. The $50 price tag buys admittance to the gathering Friday and a tour ticket for Saturday. Regular tour tickets are $20. Call 334-5866.


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