06/12/13 PBS affiliate, WFYI Channel 20, will air a documentary on June 16, 2013 at 2:00 p.m., depicting the journey of 32 Indiana electric cooperative volunteers who traveled to a remote region of Guatemala in 2012. “Power to the People” chronicles the rich 75 plus year history of Indiana’s electric cooperatives and the mission which brought electricity to 175 remote homes, businesses and churches.
Indiana’s electric cooperatives undertook this ambitious project as a part of an effort they coined “Hoosiers Power the World,” in recognition of the International Year of Cooperatives in 2012. Marshall County REMC helped support the effort by contributing security lights, copper wire and line material.
“This effort was an exciting one for Indiana’s electric cooperatives,” explained Mark Batman, CEO of Marshall County REMC. “The Rural Electrification Administration helped bring electricity to rural Indiana over 75 years ago, and we wanted to be part of paying that forward today to these remote, rural villages. Having the effort documented and filmed gave us a unique opportunity to share it with the public.”
“The film crew followed us on the journey, that took place over 30 days in August and September 2012,” said Gayvin Strantz, Manager of Job Training, Safety and Loss Control for the Indiana Statewide Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives. “The ‘stars of the show’ really are the 29 linemen who volunteered for the project.”
Producers for “Power to the People” include Clyde Lee and Diane Willis of Lee Willis Communications who are former news anchors at WRTV‐6 (ABC) in Indianapolis. “From the moment Clyde and Diane heard about the effort,” Strantz explained, “they felt we had an amazing and important story to tell. They were excited to share the rich history of Indiana’s electric cooperatives and the indelible spirit of the employees who serve our communities.”
The hour-long documentary also includes footage of the important work cooperative linemen perform daily and during storms. “Linemen are unique employees who rarely receive the recognition they deserve,” commented Batman. “Like first responders, these guys regularly work in dangerous conditions that most people try to avoid. This documentary will offer a rare glimpse at their lives and work.”