PROMISE Project Episode 5
“Growing up as a kid in Akron, I didn’t always have a room to call my own. That all changed my senior year when we moved into Springhill apartments. My mother and I had a place of our own, I had a room of my own. It was my sanctuary, my shrine to all of the greats. My room was where I dreamed and that’s so important to me. I wanted Mariah, Zeke, and Xavier to be able to have their own space where they can dream their dreams.” – LeBron James
The start of the episode would be a forecast for what was to come, “Masks up, it’s going to be dusty,” said Jack Plas, the general contractor, addressing and “army” of volunteers. The Foundation’s volunteers, who came from all corners of Northeast Ohio, helped Nicole and the team completely demolish the three bedrooms.
Prior to the renovation, Zeke and Xavier shared a Winnie the Pooh wallpaper bordered room, while Mariah had a room that hardly lived up to her bubbly personality. “No pink,” exclaimed a smiling Mariah, giving Nicole and LeBron her instructions.
Xavier wanted an all blue room, including a blue floor. “You’re not getting blue floors… but we might be able to manage a blue rug,” said a laughing Nicole, surveying Xavier’s room.
“Earned not given” has been a recurring theme throughout the PROMISE Project. After the rooms were completely gutted, Mariah, Zeke, and Xavier moved in to finish the job. “My Mariah was doing grown folks work,” laughed LeBron as he watched Mariah scrape wallpaper off the home’s century old walls.
Zeke, Xavier, and Mariah all spent their time with the painstaking task of scraping wallpaper. “There has to be at least four layers of wallpaper on these walls,” said Jack Plas as he assessed the room. “These kids will never forget the sweat equity they put into these rooms,” said Nicole’s voice as she narrated as the boys scraped wallpaper off of the caked walls.
As Mariah and her brothers scraped away, LeBron was put to work, doing some heavy lifting. All of the doors came off, “I’m getting a second workout in,” said LeBron, who just came from his first workout.
Worn purple carpet gave way to a hidden gem, hardwood floors. With the hardwood floors needing some serious TLC, the team called in Akron’s own Williams Flooring. The Williams team rescued what seemed to be a lost cause, “I didn’t think they would be able to do it in the time we had,” said Jack Plas. Working for 48 hours straight, the Williams team came through delivering impeccable hardwood floors for Mariah, Zeke, and Xavier.
With the flooring done, LeBron and Nicole kicked off the painting. “I used to paint all the time as a kid, that’s how coach would have us raise money,” explained LeBron as he and Nicole painted. To finish the room, the team from Thomarios stepped in. Working with paint donated by Northeast Ohio’s Sherwin Williams, the Thomarios team painted the boys’ rooms a vibrant blue and Mariah’s room a beautiful yellow.
“We need to turn that ceiling fan off.” – LeBron James
With the rooms fully painted it was time for some finishing touches. “Who knew that Mr. James had the princess touch,” said Nicole as she and LeBron put sparkling crystals on Mariah’s new chandelier. Each room was outfitted with brand new furniture from Value City Furniture.
The verdict? “OH MY GOSH, MY ROOM!” – Miss Mariah