LADD — Rhonda Bezely and others in Ladd sprang into action when they found out small towns might get chosen to have a crew and two stars from HGTV perform renovations in the community.

Diane Chandler, village clerk, saw an email about the opportunity for the village to have Ben and Erin Napier perform a Home Town Takeover, and showed Bezely.

“She knows I’m a huge HGTV fan,” said Bezely, and soon jumped into action, “I just love Ben and Erin Napier!”

They had less than a week to get an application and video together, they worked to do research on the history of the town and some of the older homes in the community that could use some updates or were in need of all-out rescue. Local historian and author Jim Piacenti pitched in his services and research.

To better assemble their application, they rallied village residents, and secured the services of Matthew Klein Films to put together their official video application.

The video shows townspeople talking about HGTV, the finer points of the community, the great food, and some of the spots that could use some attention.

Bezely animatedly declares that she hopes Erin Napier can come to Ladd to “make it gorgeous!” She was using one of the TV personality’s frequent lines as she and Ben make discoveries inside old homes, such as hardwood hidden beneath old carpet.

For a key part of Ladd’s application, Bezely and helpers creatively asked “all Laddiators” to show up for a group photo. About 300 people gathered across the street from the village hall at North Central Bank for a community shot on a portion of Klein’s video that utilized a drone. Students from Ladd School came to the bank for the 1:45 p.m. shot.

“Cross you fingers that we are chosen!” the applicants have told the townspeople.

Craig Sterrett can be reached at (815) 220-6935 or Follow him on Twitter @NT_NewsEditor.

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