United Way video filmed to ‘get people inspired’

olympia: Volunteers who hope to help fundraising gather at farmers market

rboone@theolympian.comJuly 9, 2012 

More than 100 people decked out in white T-shirts demonstrated their acting chops Sunday morning as part of a music video created for the United Way of Thurston County.

Supporters, staffers, organizers and others gathered about 9 a.m. at the Olympia Farmers Market, then spent about three hours shooting various scenes at and around the market, as well as one scene at nearby Port Plaza.

Those scenes will be condensed into a music video, possibly with the backing of a Ben Harper song – the organization currently is negotiating the rights to “With My Own Two Hands” – and then shown on the Internet and at workplace donation sites for United Way.

“We’re looking for a way to get people inspired and for them to get involved in the community,” said Paul Knox, executive director of United Way.

The farmers market was chosen as the video’s backdrop because of its iconic status in the community, Knox added.

The video, which was directed by Richard Aronson of Mobility Media Design of Yelm, included scenes of the supporters, wearing white Live United T-shirts, getting off and passing in front of an Intercity Transit bus; walking through the farmers market and gathering as a group at the Port Plaza, then hoisting a boy and a girl into the air as if they were crowd-surfing at a concert.

Also adding directorial assistance was Lee Wojnar, vice president of marketing for O Bee Credit Union.

Most of those appearing in the video wore Live United T-shirts, but some wore T-shirts with more pointed United Way messages, such as “I volunteer,” “I help seniors,” “I save lives” and “I’m the future.”

One of the stars of the video was Zack Thompson, 18, who recently graduated from Capital High School and is now headed to Western Washington University. His mother works for United Way, he said, and she asked if he’d like to participate.

It was his first time acting in front of the camera. He’s not sure he’ll do it again. He was surprised at the slow pace and repetition involved in making a video.

Co-star Paige Gutierrez, 19, who graduated from Black Hills High School and now attends Chico State University in California, was on more familiar ground. She acted in plays and musicals throughout high school and also is studying acting and biology at Chico State, she said. She, too, has a family connection to United Way.

The video also likely will help the organization’s fundraising efforts, Knox said. Revenue has been flat the past three years, although in a slower economy flat is the new up, he said. United Way of Thurston County works with 170-180 nonprofits, for-profit businesses and government agencies that donate to United Way. Donors include Intel and Providence St. Peter Hospital.

rboone@theolympian.com 360-754-5403 theolympian.com/bizblog @rolf_boone

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