Dream Home Fever is Spreading


They caught the bug.

Fortunately, we’re not talking the scream-and-run kind of bug – we’re talking the volunteering bug. And for designer Michael Moloney, the Payne Family Homes team, and an army of volunteers, there’s no squishing this bug with the nearest shoe (or a blow torch, depending on how severe your bug phobia is). It’s all about helping St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and it’s one they’re happy to see come around every year.

Let’s start with Michael, who discovered how much fun it was to put his impressive design skills to work helping people while serving as a designer on the popular TV show.

“Extreme Home Makeover.” Michael says he loved “doing great things for families who needed it. My design work was actually performing a function to help a family, and that was something special.”

During his time on the show, he met a St. Jude Dream Home builder in California and designed his first Dream Home “Mystery Suite.” That was all it took to get Michael hooked on volunteering to help St. Jude, and now he’s a special Design Ambassador helping builders all over the country create stunning homes that raise millions of dollars each year for St. Jude.

St Jude Children's Research Hospital Mystery Suite - STL

Then there’s the Payne Family Homes team. What started as a good community service project four years ago has turned into a massive annual event that involves year-round planning, hundreds of hours of volunteer time, and the best that Payne has to offer in home building. Oh, and a one-shot lip sync music video. With costumes. And dancing. Really really bad dancing.

St Jude Dream Home Fever

And then there’s the vendor partners, who donate materials, supplies, sweat, energy, and weekends (and occasionally their dignity – remember the bad dancing?) to help build the Dream Home at zero cost. Why is that important? So that every dime from ticket sales goes straight to St. Jude – more than $1.5 million this year alone. Payne leaders spent the first year of the Dream Home project pursuing the many vendors they needed to help build the home. Now these partners come to them offering far beyond what Payne would have ever asked them. Some, like Ambassador Floor Company and Chic Lumber have volunteered time or materials every year. They love it, they look forward to it, and they celebrate the opportunity to pitch in and help the children and families cared for so expertly by St. Jude.

So bring on the bug – it’s an essential part of bringing the Dream Home to life every year, and it’s become an essential part of the professional lives of many volunteers all over the region. Come out and see the results of this dedication to helping St. Jude during our Dream Home Open House every weekend in August and don’t miss Michael’s special Mystery Suite. We won’t ask you to do any bad dancing, but we will ask you to reserve your $100 ticket for a chance to win the Dream Home and help the children and families cared for by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Find the 2018 St. Jude Dream Home at 329 Old Forester Drive in the Legends Pointe community built by Payne Family Homes in O’Fallon MO, directly behind Aldi at the intersection of Hawk Ridge Trail and Hwy N.