It is with both pride and sadness that I report to you at the conclusion of the tenth anniversary year of Beyond Our Control, and the sixteenth consecutive year of the Junior Achievement Television Project sponsored by WNDU-TV.
On the positive side, as we liquidate BOC '77, the year must be considered among the most successful in the history of the project. Just as we were getting organized, the company was notified that it had been awarded a Gold "Hugo" from the Chicago International Film Festival. The program submitted was a "Best of BOC," and was in direct competition with professionally-produced programs from stations all across the country, plus entries from N.B.C. and A.B.C. Although there were Bronze and Silver "Hugos" awarded that evening, BOC won the only Gold Hugo presented in the television category, and was one of but two Gold prizes in the entire Festival. After a few seconds of humility, we were all exhilarated. The program was shown again on WNDU-TV in late January, 1977, one week prior to our scheduled premiere. In late April, the 27th Annual Broadcast Industry Conference at San Francisco State University awarded BOC a Broadcast Media Award, given by the faculty and students of the Broadcast Communications Arts Department at S.F.S.U. The award was one of three presented for "Entertainment Programming," the other two going to television stations in Hollywood and Washington, D.C. Producer and chief advisor Dave Williams was present in Chicago and San Francisco to personally receive these awards for the company. BOC was presented a fifth-straight Freedoms Foundation Award for Economics Education, and also earned a Merit Award in the annual Addy Competition of the local Sales and Advertising Executives Club.
Junior Achievement honored our company at season's end by naming Kate Doherty "Secretary of the Year" (for the second straight year) and presenting her with a special scholarship award.
Likewise in publicity, all records were shattered locally and nationally. Items in Chicago and Indianapolis newspapers, our first mention in U.P.I. wire service, our first appearance on a nationally-syndicated radio talk show, our first appearance on another local station's interview program, an Associated Press article, a color cover and three page article in the national magazine 'Listen,' and excerpts from BOC appearing on KRON-TV (San Francisco) and WMAQ-TV and WTTW-TV (Chicago). Plus our BOC people observing and commenting in a nationally-distributed drinking/driving film produced for the local Alcoholism Council.
Tempering our Awards and Publicity success somewhat, production of BOC '77 was unexpectedly difficult this year. No one could have forseen that our gala anniversary season would be marred by the destruction of the J.A. Center (where we had done much of our filming in past years), our own small but damaging fire at WNDU-TV which destroyed a good amount of film, the most horrendous accident in our history (when one of our gals seriously gashed her foot in Pinhook Lagoon during a summer film session), the worst winter in history with two Saturday taping sessions cancelled because of heavy snow, and operating with but one-fourth of a studio due to construction of WNDU-TV's present news set. It is to the credit of Production Manager Ellen Akins and the elected officers that most of the company made it in every week and every show went on the air as scheduled. A limited use of material from previous years, which had been discussed earlier as part of the 10th Anniversary season, gave us the assistance we needed for about 4 weeks, and we were able to conclude the year with mostly new material. Our ratings, taken in February, were the highest ever: 20,000 households, a significant increase again. Officers for BOC '77 elected last November were as follows:
President Chris Dudley
As in production, our sales effort hit problems this year. We did manage a complete sell-out for the sixth consecutive year, but at a later date then usual. However, with a new commercial format, we realized the greatest sales total in the history of BOC. We are pleased, as long as we're discussing dollars, to announce a 35% dividend on the dollar you invested in Beyond Our Control about a year ago. Please find an enclosed check for $1.35 and thank you for your investment and confidence. (BOC members: your stock payment was included in your final-out check.)
Every year, at its conclusion, BOC conducts its own version of Oscars and Emmys for ourselves, voted on by ourselves, and awarded to ourselves. They probably mean more to each member than any other honor possible. The awards presented on Saturday evening, May 7th, were as follows:
Best Salesperson Beth Weiler and Sue Pagna
Plus special awards to Phil Patnaude, Kate Doherty and Dave Simkins for extremely long-term service.
So, despite the problems, it has been an outstanding season. From a Dave Williams' memo in his annual report on BOC to WNDU-TV: "If the year`s script, with fire and weather and injury and all the rest, was not what we would have planned, the adversity seemed to draw the company more closely together than ever before. And that seemed to make everyone very proud and very happy."
And, now, on Dave Williams. What more can be said? Dave is gone in one sense and yet here in another. With his loss in mind, please now re-read to yourself Dave's preceding quote re BOC '77.
BOC '78 is now proceeding, with much adversity, yet with great hopes.
For Dave Williams, Denny Laughlin, Danny Lakin and members of BOC '77,