WVIA’s ‘Our Town Dallas’ hits airwaves Thursday


By Eileen Godin - [email protected]



Lisa Mazzarella, a producer at WVIA, interviewed Thomas Botzman, president at Misericordia University, during “Our Town Dallas” premiere Thursday night.


Residents of Dallas gather in the lobby of WVIA studios Thursday night to watch the latest installment in the “Our Town” documentary series on Dallas.


By Eileen Godin

[email protected]

Lisa Mazzarella, a producer at WVIA, interviewed Thomas Botzman, president at Misericordia University, during “Our Town Dallas” premiere Thursday night.
http://mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_ourtowndallas01-3.jpgLisa Mazzarella, a producer at WVIA, interviewed Thomas Botzman, president at Misericordia University, during “Our Town Dallas” premiere Thursday night.

Residents of Dallas gather in the lobby of WVIA studios Thursday night to watch the latest installment in the “Our Town” documentary series on Dallas.
http://mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_ourtowndallas02-3.jpgResidents of Dallas gather in the lobby of WVIA studios Thursday night to watch the latest installment in the “Our Town” documentary series on Dallas.

PITTSTON TWP. — The premiere of WVIA’s “Our Town Dallas” received a big approval rating from all attendees Thursday night.

Ninety-one-year-old Willis Ide, formerly of Dallas, gave WVIA’s show a four-star rating.

“I am really glad I was a part of it,” he said. “(The WVIA producers) did a really good job.”

WVIA’s “Our Town” series gave residents of the Greater Dallas area the opportunity to tell what makes their community special. Residents began working with Lisa Mazzarella, producer at the public broadcasting television station, in late October.

In November, residents chose their assignments.

All photographs, videos and stories were turned in to WVIA in December.

The one-hour episode aired at 7 p.m. Thursday. A rebroadcast will air at noon Feb. 7.

Copies of the “Our Town Dallas” DVD that contained bonus footage of live interviews are available for purchase through WVIA.

Funds raised through a membership campaign and DVD sales will fund the next “Our Town” series, which is on the Abington region.

Charlie Hayes, a former videographer and photographer, gave the program a big thumbs up.

“I am impressed,” Hayes said. “The continuity here is terrific.”

Hayes said he attended a brainstorming session in October and offered many story suggestions that were used, such as the one on old Fernbrook Park.

Stories painted a picture of the Dallas region showcasing its educational and business opportunities, such as the Dallas School District’s career program.

Dallas School District Superintendent Thomas Duffy explained the district’s kindergarten through 12th grade career program.

The program encourages younger children to explore career ideas, while high school students research fields of interest through contacts with the local business community, Duffy said.

The long-standing Wilkes-Barre Triathlon was highlighted, including a 15-year-old Lance Armstrong’s participation in the event. Armstrong went on to win the Tour de France a record seven times, before being stripped of his titles for doping.

Even, Willis shared his story of delivering ice to Dallas residents in the morning and coal in the afternoon at age 16.

The stories that filtered out of the Dallas area provided a “true sense of community,” Mazzarella said.

“The town really supported the project,” said Doug Cook, vice president of television and promotions at WVIA.

Sponsors for “Our Town Dallas” are The Times Leader, The Dallas Post, Misericordia University, Comitz Law Firm, Buka, Lonn Dean, Twin Stacks, Salon NouVeau, CK’s Cantina & Grill, Monk Heating & Air Conditioning, Corbett Insurance, Twin Oak Golf Course, Brace’s Orchard, Frontier Communications, North Slope Brewing, Hartman Insurance, Grotto Pizza, Fino’s Pharmacy, Summit Pointe Builders and the Masonic Village at Dallas.

Reach Eileen Godin at 570-991-6387 or on Twitter @TLNews.

Reach Eileen Godin at 570-991-6387 or on Twitter @TLNews.

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