Family tradition takes Dunn family all the way to the ‘Feud’

From left, Rich Denham of Brentwood, Tenn.; Stephanie Bowen of Gainesville; host Steve Harvey; Helen Dunn of Zephyrhills; Judy Westhouse of Lake Worth; and Pam Denham of Cooper City pose together at the taping of “Family Feud” in Orlando. (Photo courtesy of CBS)

Published: Tuesday, January 18, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 17, 2011 at 5:34 p.m.

Helen Dunn received a very special gift for her 70th birth­day last year: the chance to compete on “Family Feud.”

For the Zephyrhills mother-of-six, the game show was the perfect way to mark her milestone, and she couldn’t have wished for better compa­ny.

In September, Dunn made the trip to Universal Studios in Orlando, where the show is taped, with her family: son Rich Denham, 38, of Brentwood, Tenn.; granddaughter Stephanie Bowen, 21, of Gainesville; daughter Judy Westhouse, 53, of Lake Worth; and daughter Pam Denham, 48, of Cooper City.

The family competed for $100,000 and a brand new car — all in front of a live studio audience. Knowing exactly what the “survey says” pays off in this kin-against-kin competi­tion, and that’s pressure, Dunn said.

“We were so hyper and so excited,” she said of the experience. “But we did good, and we stuck together.”

After competing for three days, the Dunn family cashed out with $40,000, which will be split five ways.

But for Dunn, winning the money was only part of her victory.

“I used to watch ‘Family Feud’ with my mother,” she said, recalling how she upheld that tradition by tuning into the show with her own kids.

After all, her children, now grown up with kids of their own, were the ones who made the phone calls that secured the family an audition spot in the first place.

“[Competing] was something I always wanted to do with my kids, and they made it happen,” she said.

Dunn said she “had such a good time” with her family — and host Steve Harvey — and it’s an experience she relives whenever they get together.

“It was so much fun — and something we’ll never forget,” she said. “I would love to go back and do it again.”

To watch the Dunn family on “Family Feud,” tune in to channel CBS (WGFL) Tuesday at noon.

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