Thanks to the Passion and Teamwork of JDAV, George to the Rescue, Make-a-Wish and Salamander Designs, Boy Sees His Dreams Come True on The Big Screen.
Every once in a while, a story comes along that warms you deeply from the inside and makes you smile bigger than you thought possible. And this is one of them. Fittingly, this story also happened to air recently on NBC on World Wish Day, Saturday, April 29, 2023, on George to the Rescue.
13-season NBC TV show “George to the Rescue” was looking to do a first time-ever collaboration show with the Make-a-Wish. Since 2010, George to the Rescue (GTTR) has been NBC’s Emmy-winning human interest and home renovation series that elevates the human spirit while celebrating and showcasing the power of community. Featuring George Oliphant’s design-build transformations, the series has supported countless individuals, families and organizations in need.
For this special episode, GTTR and NBC contacted Gabriel Karlis, CEO of JDAV Design, an AV Integration & Technology company, to design a home theater and gaming room for a family that had two young children, James and Rose, that have both been diagnosed with congenital muscular dystrophy. And JDAV Designs and Salamander Designs stepped up to help make that happen, bringing together a passionate, big team to fulfill a big screen wish.
With no boundaries to his imagination, James made a wish for an accessible home theater and gaming room that would allow him to play games with friends and enjoy movie nights with family. GTTR host George Oliphant brought in a team of experts and designers to renovate the Popelka’s living space, and create a new, immersive theater room to provide them comfort, excitement and entertainment for years to come.
The integration firm, JDAV Designs, is a top integration company that serves New York, New Jersey and Florida. Their generous team took the lead to design and deliver the complete cinematic system with smart controls for all of James entertainment. This new room features a remarkable variety of leading audio and video systems that all come together for James and his family.
“Our goal at JDAV was to design a Home theater gaming environment that would accomplish James’ wish and also provide a level of control and future independence using voice control technology,” shared Gabriel Karlis, CEO of JDAV Design.
The JDAV team designed a Samsung short throw projector that’s fully integrated into the Salamander Designs Custom Credenza that, together, project a video image on a 120” Screen Innovations screen. Salamander donated the Ultra Short Throw Projector Cabinet in a beautiful black oak finish. It houses the projector and also other components to serve as a centerpiece for the system. They selected a Sonos 5.1 surround sound system, and the team also incorporated an automated Lutron lighting and shading system and a smart thermostat for comfort. All aspects of the new room are fully functional through voice recognition technology controlling the music, video, gaming, lighting, shades and HVAC thermostats.
Now James has seamless access to being immersed in movies, TV shows, video games and any entertainment that he wants. Adding to the joy, his wish was revealed to him on his seventh birthday! And, along with his sister Rose, they enjoyed a day full of fun that was capped off with a special concession stand full of goodies.
“JDAV is proud to have had the opportunity to use our expertise and experience in our field to create a special environment for the Popelka’s family,” added Gabriel Karlis. “We are grateful to be a part of this and help make James’s wish come to true. We hope everyone will take the time to join us in watching this special episode.”
George Oliphant of GTTR shared, “With JDAV, Salamander Designs elevated this George to the Rescue/Make-a-Wish exceptional collaboration. The beautiful, functional media credenza really brings James’ immersive entertainment space together. It was an honor to team up together while granting a deserving child’s wish. We hope the Popelka family’s gratitude, positivity, resilience and togetherness inspire all who watch the program.”
“Being able to donate something to make a child’s dream a reality is one of the most rewarding things we do,” said Scott Srolis, SVP of Sale and Marketing for Salamander Designs. “In the full spirit of ‘World Wish Day,’ we are honored be a part of James’ wish and provide a Salamander Cabinet for his new theater and gaming system. We hope it will bring great enjoyment to him and his family, and we are extremely proud of our Dealer JDAV, who brought us into this heartwarming project and freely contributed their time and expertise.”
See the full reveal from Season14, Episode3 here on George to the Rescue’s YouTube.
It’s also available for streaming on Peacock.
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