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Siblings honored for extreme activism

Eleven-year-old Kelly Moran and her 16-year-old brother, Ryan, of Rotterdam, were brought up to respect their community and to give back to others.

With a family friend serving in Iraq, and another friend who was killed in the conflict, the siblings felt they wanted to help the country's servicemen and women. Through lemonade stands, garage sales and other fundraisers, the two have raised hundreds of dollars to make care packages to send to soldiers serving overseas.

Because of their charitable efforts, it seemed quite fitting to enter them in radio station Fly 92's Tree House Makeover, a contest modeled after the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition TV show, that awards the contributions of selfless children. And that is exactly what their mother, Suzi Moran, did. The rest has been an "extreme adventure" for the family.

Tree house construction took place June 9 and 10.

"We have been so excited about this whole process. From the construction of the house to our weekend away, it's been almost surreal to have this sort of recognition," said Moran.

Ashley Construction, which primarily does insurance repair and fire restoration jobs, built the tree house.

General manger for Ashley Construction Joe Aquilo said when he was contacted by morning disc jockey Brian Cody, he could not say no. Aquilo said the original company that was hired "backed out at the last minute."

When Ashley then took on the project, they were responsible for designing the tree house, as well as constructing it.

Aquilo said there were hundreds of deserving families in the Capital District, but the Moran family stood out.

"The Moran family is a great family, with great kids. We were more than happy to step up and make this tree house a reality," said Aquilo.

The tree house is not your average hangout, it comes completely furnished, has flat-screen televisions, a gaming system and more. Area companies donated all the materials, electrical work, furnishings and electronics.

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