Community Volunteers make WKTV Programming Possible

janice_limbaughIf it wasn’t for the commitment and participation of our community volunteers, WKTV programming would not be possible. So as we celebrate 40 years on the air, we salute our longest running programs!

City Council coverage in 1975.
City Council coverage in 1975.


Topping the list at a full 40-year-run is the Wyoming City Council meetings.  In the early days, volunteers would haul full-size studio cameras from the station to city hall. Today, there’s a permanent mini control room with cameras inside the meeting room to streamline the production.

30 plus years and counting…

Ray Peuler’s love for high school sports is the drive behind the next longest running show on WKTV!  For over 30 years, High School Sports has covered countless local football and basketball games. Now under the direction of Paul Kabelman, baseball, softball and hockey games have been added.

WKTV sports crew airs the annual Golden Gloves tournament held at the Wyoming Armory.
WKTV sports crew airs the annual Golden Gloves tournament held at the Wyoming Armory.


“When Ray’s health would no longer allow him to volunteer, I was offered the opportunity to replace the local legend. The passion for sports and the competition it brings, together with the level of innocence that is still there in high school, encourages many volunteers to assist in these productions,” says Kabelman.


Doug Hanson, Phil Moore, and Gary Vande Velde are but a few of the long serving volunteers that make the productions possible. In addition to the event, productions include three to five hours of equipment setup and time to tear down the gear.


Pre-game prep also comes into play with securing of rosters, stats and any pertinent bio info on individuals, a lot of which is handled by Mike Moll.


“He along with Mark Bergsma and Ron Schultz work with me on announcing the various games,” he adds.


Typically WKTV Sports covers Tuesday and Friday night contests that are aired later that night, and again the following Saturday morning.


“We are very blessed to have the volunteers that we do currently enlist to make this all possible, but are always looking for more, especially to enhance the menu we’re currently offering.


Kabelman adds that he hopes to add even more to the lineup like soccer, wrestling, volleyball and lacrosse, to name a few. All in all, the WKTV High School Sports crew covers twelve different schools within Wyoming, Kentwood and Gaines Township.

21 years and going strong…

Airing for 21 years, the Senior Exercise program got its start back in 1993 and has been teaching seniors safe workouts. Host Chris Rush makes working out easy and fun using just two soup cans and a towel. Her passion for exercising and teaching others inspired her to do a national video series called “You’re never too old to Start.”


“One day I came home and had a message on the answering machine from a total stranger saying how much the exercise show changed their life,” Rush recalls. “There’s a lot of self gratification knowing that I’m helping people.


“My goal for the show was not about getting people to live longer,” she adds, “but about improving the quality of life they are living.”


Rush, who is 61, says she teaches functional training or use of the entire body. “I realized that as I’m aging, I’m learning more of what exercises to teach like balance and stability. I’ll be adding that as part  of the routine.”


Like every WKTV project, the Senior Exercise program would not be possible without its volunteers. Says Rush, “In all the years I’ve done this show, I’ve always worked with great caring people who are dedicated to make the show the best that it can be. I’m grateful for the wonderful volunteering and wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for WKTV.”

20 years and on a mission…

For 20 years, “River Reflections” has been the inspiration of Rosemary Barnes targeting viewers who are not able or willing to attend church but would like to learn about the Bible and how to apply its teachings to daily living.


Barnes says that prior to producing the program, a man prophesied to her that she would be doing television work. Shortly thereafter, she and her husband were invited to minister to a church in Marquette, Michigan. There they met a woman who was an entertainer turned evangelist and produced a weekly TV program from her basement for cable access.


“She interviewed us on her program  in her basement,” Barnes recalls. “She  told us that she was one of the first to produce tapes for the local cable access tv station and that they actually sent newcomers to her basement to learn some tips on producing their own programs. I thought then and there, if she can do it , I can do it!”


Both experiences strengthened Barnes’ resolve to ‘just do it’ and produce a television show that reflected her passion to study and share the Bible.


“I  do believe that all Christians should have a church home; but, for many ,Christian television programs are the only teaching they  choose to  receive.”


Barnes says she hopes the “River Reflections” broadcasts will help viewers find the Lord into their lives.”

Another benefit for me in producing this program is that our faithful production crew  stays after the program is taped  and we eat together.  So twice a month I experience what feels like a family dinner party because the crew has gotten so warmly  bonded together through working together faithfully for so many years.”


These are just a few of the longest running shows on WKTV. If you have a program idea that you’d like to see on the air, stop by the station and find out how to get the production rolling!