Resources | The WCM Quarterly | Doing Happiness
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Monday, June 29, 2015 12:04 PM

2015 Significant Community Program Award honoree
Doing Happiness in Sun Prairie one show at a time

by Jeff Robbins

In April of 2014, I was new to my position as executive director of the Sun Prairie Media Center.  One of my priorities was to broaden the programming appearing on our community access channel to include more people of color and differing abilities.

An Internet search brought up Matt Glowacki’s name and I was immediately intrigued by Matt’s story. Who wouldn’t be? Born with no legs. Runs multiple businesses. Paralympic athlete. Successful motivational speaker. Best of all, he lived in Sun Prairie, so he was definitely ‘local’ enough for local cable access TV.

An initial meeting proved productive. We hit it off. Better still, Matt had ideas. He wanted to adapt for TV his then current series of motivational talks called “Doing Happiness.” He wanted to tell his story but keep the focus on people who were busy “Doing Happiness in Sun Prairie.” 

He wanted to introduce a segment called “Bunch of Flowers” that would honor unrecognized folks in the community with a special surprise bouquet. And he wanted to highlight the community work of Sun Prairie resident, Kevin Mengelt, whose wife Maureen had been killed by a drunk driver in 2013.  Kevin had started an annual memorial run to honor the memory of his late wife.  Matt wanted to cover the run, talk to the community about Maureen and her tragic death, and Kevin’s triumph in the face of that tragedy. 

Most ambitiously of all, he wanted to spearhead the installation of a Maureen Mengelt memorial plaque to be erected near the site of the fatal accident.

In the production of that one episode, Matt Glowacki exemplified what is great about community access television. He not only got himself immersed in his community, he got his wife involved as well.  

He not only learned about cameras, lighting, interviewing, and being on television, he got his wife equally engaged in the process, as she enthusiastically took on the role of video editor, wardrobe consultant, and de facto executive producer.  Most importantly, with his program he reminded Sun Prairie of the power of positivity, the power of perseverance, and the power of community.  And with his hard work, positivity, and perseverance, Matt did in fact get his plaque honoring Maureen, helping to ensure that Maureen Mengelt’s memory and spirit live on.  

 

Watch Doing Happiness in Sun Prairie online at ksun.tv or on Charter cable channel 983 and Kids-4 on 984.