Can a Production Company Have a “Real Hero” as a Senior VP?

Can a Production Company Have a “Real Hero” as a Senior VP?

FiveCurrents, the Executive Producer for the 2015 Special Olympic World Games does! Senior Vice President Mark Poncher works long hard hours to ensure his company is successful. Unlike many other productions that FiveCurrents organizes, the Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015, didn’t have the kind of funding it takes to really bring attention to this event. The budget of the Special Olympics is very limited, so FiveCurrents and many of the vendors donated much time and equipment or gave major discounts to ensure that FiveCurrents could put on two spectacular shows for Special Olympics World Games.

Many people I met during our 2015 Special Olympic World Games coverage thought that, judging by the high prices of everything from food to memorabilia, someone had to be making money! What a relief to learn that it was not the case. From the merchandise sold with the official logo, to the entertainment, no one gets the proceeds except for Special Olympics, as it should be.

I was happy to learn Hollywood was doing its part by providing entertainment and so much more. Many companies like Toyota, Microsoft, Coca-Cola and Bank of America, and of course, Disney, were taking up the slack so that the athletes could have the red carpet treatment. Stages, activities, and souvenirs were donated so that everyone from the athletes, their families, and the spectators all had an amazing experience. I, for one, loved trying the different fountain drinks from around the world, provided by the Coca-Cola Company.

My family attended one of the days at the USC campus and came home with some nice caps and fanfare that they didn’t have to buy! The pins that everyone loved collecting from the sponsors and brought to the games from the delegates from all the countries participating were especially loved and collected by all. I was given several of the pins from athletes we interviewed, and they will be very special memories for my team and myself.

Another great bit of news is that funding was not used to pay the super-star line up for the opening ceremonies, such as the Unified Partner exhibition games, live entertainment during the course of the week, etc., but in fact, it was ALL donated for the cause! Host towns across the state made it possible for the athletes to have several wonderful events to attend. They could relax, meet new friends and truly enjoy themselves and see what kind of genuine hospitality Southern California has to offer.

Mark shared with me that the undertaking of putting on the ceremonies for Special Olympics is just as involved as the Olympic Games. They created an entertainment committee comprised of Mark Poncher, Rob Friedman, Co-Chairman of Lionsgate motion picture group, (CEO of Special Olympics World Summer Games Organizing Committee), Peter Wheeler, Chief Strategic Properties for Special Olympics International, Patrick McClenahan, President of LA2015, Kim Widdess, Director of Ceremonies and Senior Vice President LA2015, Scott Givens, President of Five Currents, and Sr. Producer David Shapiro. This committee compiled a list of possible guests for the opening and closing ceremonies. Once the list was made, talent bookers made calls to find who was available and willing to participate in the event. Mark Poncher works with President Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative and told SpecialNeeds.com how disappointed the former president was that he could not. Ricky Martin was also asked to be one of the headliners for the opening ceremonies but was not able to attend because of his touring schedule.

Another wonderful factoid is that the songs Stevie Wonder and Avril Lavigne, and Siedeh Garrett wrote just for Special Olympics are also donated for the cause. If you purchase the songs, Fly (Avril Lavigne) or, In The Key Of Life (Stevie Wonder) the proceeds go to Special Olympics, and that is a beautiful way to support this wonderful movement that Eunice Kennedy Shriver began all those years ago.

I asked Mark my signature question, who is your hero? He replied President Clinton and went on to inform me of what a true philanthropist the former President really is.

Everyone has the ability to be a real hero. Whether you do a kindness for a neighbor or donate clothing to your local church, every kind gesture counts! From the most challenged to the brightest, everyone has a real hero just waiting to emerge and make the world brighter! 

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Written by: Robin Flutterby Borakove See other articles by Robin Flutterby Borakove
About the Author:

Robin Flutterby BorakoveWell into​ ​her adult life, Robin Borakove was diagnosed with​ ​Asperger’s Syndrome. Her dream is to fund a​ Special Needs Adult​ resource network through her​ ​501c3 non-profit, Autism Spectrum Disorder​ ​Supports (ASDS). In 2013​ ​Robin started Neurofeedback treatments​ ​that changed her life. Through her documentary, My​ ​Metamorphosis, Robin​ ​chronicles this extraordinary experience.​ She has three children’s has books out​, her first one she wrote at nine years old. She has written and produced a children's literacy video,​ ​pilot called Enfairya, and a PSA for ASDS, starring her spokes person, Isaac C. Singleton Jr.


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