Herald JournalHerald Journal, Oct. 24, 2005

Local company plays big part in TV's ‘Three Wishes’

By Ryan Gueningsman
Staff Writer

A local company played a big part in rebuilding an Iowa family’s life following a fire at their farm this spring.

Lester Building Systems became involved with the television show “Three Wishes,” which airs Friday nights on NBC, when it was realized the company would be able to meet the show’s tight production schedule. The show’s producers were planning on rebuilding Terry and Amy Aberson’s barn that had been destroyed by fire near Sioux Center, Iowa.

Lester Building Systems was approached by the producers after they discovered that Lester, and its local contractor/dealer, Buys and Hoksbergen Construction, was the only company with the capabilities to meet the show’s deadlines.

“At the outset, they wanted it completed in a little less than three weeks,” said Lester Building Systems Marketing Manager Tom Borgman. “But once they saw the sheer magnitude and various elements that had to come together for a quality facility, they gave us a whole extra 10 days.”

As it was, the project began July 13 and the local Lester contractor finished Aug. 19 – less than half the time it typically takes to complete a modern dairy facility. The freestall is 68’ x 220’ x 14’, with a capacity of up to 100 cows, while the parlor’s dimensions are 64’ x 40’ x 13’.

The fire that destroyed the Aberson’s previous dairy facility started when a short in a tractor alternator ignited the fuel filter and then spread. Luckily, they were able to save all 65 cows, but Terry lost his wedding ring in the process. “Three Wishes” host Amy Grant surprised Terry with a replacement ring during her community concert – a standard part of every episode.

“Lester Buildings was very happy to play a role in making this extraordinary wish come true,” Borgman said. “Everyone here is thinking of the Abersons as they get back to running a high-efficiency, profitable dairy that will allow them to enjoy more family time. This was truly a gratifying experience for our associates and our local dealer in Iowa, Buys and Hoksbergen.”

The new television show, which premiered Sept. 23, is a family-oriented program featuring Grant and a team of assistants who fulfill dreams all over the United States.

Individuals, families, and even entire cities are affected as Grant and her team move from town to town, witnessing the extraordinary consequences of their wish-granting and the powerful spirit of community that helps dreams come true.

In Iowa, someone’s wish for a complete replacement and upgrade of the Aberson’s dairy freestall (the structure where the cows live) and computerized milking parlor, evidently struck a chord. The producers chose to grant the wish and filming commenced in July. The “dairy” episode aired Oct. 14.


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