BCTV honors volunteers

BEDFORD — The red carpet was laid, the banners were hung and invited guests chatted in their seats. The scene was set for BCTV’s Award Ceremony.

Broadcast live on BCTV, the volunteer recognition event honored those who had been involved in the community TV station during the past three years.

BCTV Chairman Bob Thomas hosted the extravaganza along with Station Manager Bill Jennings and Assistant Station Manager Coleen Richardson.

Volunteers produce much of the educational and public programming on BCTV.

“Without the volunteers, we wouldn’t get the shows or the talent,” said Jennings. The volunteers generate the ideas, the plan and the talent. BCTV trains them in the use of the camera and sound equipment and supports them in learning and using the video editing software.

BCTV hasn’t had an awards event since 2005. Every volunteer at the station was given a certificate for the contributions he or she made. Plaques were presented for the best talent, producers and crew.

The Chairman’s Award was presented to individuals who went above and beyond with their service to BCTV.

Honored with this award were, among others, Mimi Silverman of the Bedford Democrats and Ray Chadwick of the Bedford Republicans. Both helped out at the station by coordinating the BCTV schedules for their party’s candidates for state government.

Chadwick also hosts a political show, “Right for New Hampshire.” Other honorees included a relative newcomer to BCTV, Pete MacDonald. MacDonald became involved by taping an event for the Challenger Little League in the spring. MacDonald has helped produce at least four shows since April of this year and, along with Doug Pearson, has just finished his most recent production on the Bedford Education Foundation and the grants it gave to Bedford teachers.

“If I can do it, anyone can do it,” said MacDonald, who works in contract manufacturing sales. “I’d never done this before.”

“It gives the impression we have a staff,” said Jennings. The programs aired on BCTV range from cooking shows, music, fitness, religious programming, current events, history and politics.

Another volunteer, Mike Robinson, became involved with BCTV when he produced a show to honor his father Bill Robinson, a World War II veteran.

“He came up with an idea and then expanded on it,” said Jennings. Robinson has produced more than a dozen shows since 2005 in the series “Warriors: Defenders of Freedom.”

“Bill and Coleen make it super easy,” said Doug Tricarico, producer of the Animal Rescue League’s show, “For Pet’s Sake.”

He inherited the show 3½ years ago and has been producing it ever since.

The goal of Tricarico’s program is to get animals adopted and he has had a tremendous response. “The facility is amazing,” he said of the BCTV studio on Meetinghouse Road in Bedford. “It’s like walking into nirvana. … I’d totally encourage anyone to get involved.”

The station is always looking for more volunteers and the facilities are available to any Bedford resident or non-profit organization.

“It allows people with talent to do things they otherwise wouldn’t be able to do,” said Jennings.

If you missed the awards show live on BCTV, or want to see any of the other programs broadcast on channel 16 or 22, you can catch them on-demand via the BCTV Web site at www.bedfordtv.com.