MONON — A northern White County town hopes to receive a televised makeover, if the folks there have any say in it.
And they do. They just have to make their pitch.
Several groups and individuals in Monon are banding together in hopes of landing on a new HGTV series “Home Town Takeover,” in which the show’s hosts — the husband-and-wife team of Ben and Erin Napier — rehab and revitalize entire towns
The idea is to “help create and foster a town persona that draws on its roots, history and traditions,” the website states.
The Napiers currently host the network’s “Home Town” renovation show. The new series won’t air until sometime in 2021 and will only consist of six episodes.
Applicants are asked to highlight special aspects of their town, from classic main streets to special destinations and distinctive architecture.
“We are encouraging everyone — residents, former residents, anyone who would like to see something good happen to a corner of our county — sign the petition (https://bit.ly/2OcvDWX) and to submit their own entry for Monon,” said Julie Gutwein, a member of All Board and MCPS. “It is not difficult.”
But time is not on Monon’s side. HGTV is taking applications through Feb. 4.
“We are little late getting into this process as the entries are due next week,” Gutwein said. “But, on the other hand, people tend to put things off until the last minute. So, if every interested person sends a submission in the next few days, we can bombard HGTV with, ‘You need to choose Monon.’”
White County United Way, All Aboard Monon Main Street Association, Monon Civic Preservation Society and North White School Corporation are all partnering to get Monon on the show
“Like most people, we saw the HGTV opportunity on social media and looked into the details,” said Nikie Jenkinson, executive director of WCUW. “Monon qualifies as a potential site, and we began discussing the possibility of entering the contest with the All Aboard Monon Main Street Association.”
To qualify, towns must have a population of less than 40,000; have homes and buildings with “great architecture longing to be revealed”; and a main street in need of a facelift.
Applicants should strive, the HGTV website states, to highlight aspects of their town that make it special, fascinating, historic or unique — including distinctive features like vintage period architecture, special destinations or a classic main street.
If selected, Monon residents can expect to see multiple individual family homes and public spaces rehabilitated and revitalized.
The town has tapped local audio-visual hobbyist Todd Shriver create a video featuring Monon’s architecture and potential.
“Based on the historical significance of the railroad to the Monon Station, the (video) will look through the eyes of founding developer C.M. Horner, who commissioned the famous Horner Block that now houses the Monon Civic Center and Opera House,” Jenkinson said. “These areas are definitely highlights to feature in our video as they tie together interesting architecture, history and civic importance.”
The video will also feature photos and aerial images of Monon
“(It) will showcase Monon’s history, where we have been, where we are, and what we hope for the future,’ Gutwein said of the video.
Jenkinson said she hopes everyone — residents, former residents or anyone who loves or grew up in Monon — will send in their own application to increase the town’s chances of being selected.
“We believe the more unique entries we have on the actual site will create a better chance for (Monon) to be noticed,” she said. “(It) is primarily a video entry, and since many of us have smartphones in our pockets, a quick selfie-video explaining the charm and appeal of Monon is all you really need to nominate our town.”
Jenkinson said not everyone may be able to submit their own entries, so WCUW has created an online petition to gather comments, encouragement and — most importantly — email address to show support for the project.