In October of 2006 thousands of local residents joined Kartchner Homes to build single mother Janet Pauni and her nine children a new home in just one week. It came about through ABC’s Extreme Makeover-Home Edition program and Pauni says it’s been an exciting life-changing experience.
In addition to the home, the Pauni children received scholarships to Stevens-Henager College and Spencer Pauni now has his bachelors degree with other siblings also enrolled.
On KVNU’s Crosstalk show Wednesday, Pauni said she loves the fact that she now has a commercial kitchen which helps the family’s catering business.
“We often do the luau for family reunions, weddings, school activities, church activities,” Pauni said. “I’ll cook from home and we also use the studio that they built practicing the show for all those outdoor events.”
Pauni hopes her business grows because she says the family still has financial struggles. While the family did not have to pay for the home to be built, costs for taxes and utilities have increased with the new home. The Paunis came to Cache Valley from Tonga in 1991 to give their children more opportunities. Her husband Danny died unexpectedly of a heart attack in 2004.