Live TV lends support to Salvation ArmyCrunch time for the Skills USA and TV broadcasting students at Superior High School was highlighted in red, green and blue marker. On the classroom board Tuesday morning were the many tasks left before their annual Spartan Telethon airs live Saturday on Channel 14.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
Crunch time for the Skills USA and TV broadcasting students at Superior High School was highlighted in red, green and blue marker. On the classroom board Tuesday morning were the many tasks left before their annual Spartan Telethon airs live Saturday on Channel 14. The countdown has begun.
“We have a busy week ahead of us,” said SHS senior Kailey Phillips, who co-hosts the show with Sterling Szymonowicz. This is Phillips’ first year on the telethon crew, and she said the amount of work involved is “insane.”
It never gets any easier, said producer Jacob Roeber. He’s been involved with the telethon since it began in 2008.
“It gets harder to do because each year gets bumped up,” said Roeber, a senior. “You get more responsibility. Then it pays off in the end but the couple of weeks leading up to it is pretty hard.”
Every penny raised will be given to the Salvation Army of Superior.
“We went to the Salvation Army to film and find out what it is that they need,” Phillips said. “And they really do have a need. Literally, they count on us for this.”
Students have raised at least $3,000 per year through the live TV event, according to Major Rosemary Matson of the Salvation Army.
“That’s a lot of money,” she said. “Plus they’re getting the word out.”
The cameras start rolling at 1 p.m. Saturday and sign off at 8 p.m. During those seven hours, a parade of singers, skits, jokes and personalities will entertain the audience.
Working on the telethon has taught Szymonowicz to expect the unexpected.
“A lot of time Murphy’s Law kicks in and it’s up to us to ad lib,” he said, so he’s polishing up his jokes this week.
As in previous years, anyone can drop by and join the live studio audience. They should park behind the school in the tech education or teachers lots; the entrance will be marked. To catch the Spartan Singers, stop by at 4:15 p.m. Superior Mayor Bruce Hagen is slated to speak at 2:30 p.m. and a pie eating contest starts at 5 p.m. Children are welcome to visit with Santa from 3-4 p.m. on air. There are a few slots open if anyone is interested in performing on live TV.
Matson said she enjoys getting a peek behind the scenes during the live broadcast.
“It just thrills me to see the kids in action,” she said. “They know what they’re doing and they’re serious about it.”
The entire show is student run. This year, 25 students will team up to make the telethon a reality.
“This is one of the biggest events Skills USA and the TV broadcasting group do all year,” said SHS senior Davis, the producer. “We’ve spent now three months almost five days a week on it and we’ve just put so much effort into it, we’d love to see it succeed.”
The students credited teacher and advisor Dale Van Ert for letting them take the reins of the production.
“That Mr. Van Ert is just absolutely wonderful,” Matson said. “He isn’t bossy. He just guides them and they take it from there.”
Now that the countdown has begun, Van Ert had one request for the community.
“Make the phones ring,” he said.
The telethon also will be streamed live online at www.ustream.tv/user/SpartanTV14.