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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!