MACTIER - Sixteen years ago Brian Lemkay had an idea.
Cable 10 helps school.
MacTier School students practice playing music on keyboards that were, in part, purchased through the community’s volunteer-run television station, Cable 10. Since its inception 16 years ago, more than $33,000 has been raised for the school.
Stephannie Johnson/Beacon Star
While having coffee with his good friend and Lakeview Cable owner Don Banks, the two came up with a brainchild - to set up a local television station and sell ad space with all proceeds going to MacTier Public School.
Using a space inside MacTier Public School’s basement, Lemkay said Banks donated and installed all of the necessary wiring as well as a junction box, which is now known as MacTier Community Cable 10.
Under the business name MKAC Associates - MAC for MacTier and KA was the CPR operators’ code for MacTier in the past - businesses and individuals can request a spot on the channel.
Since its inception, MKAC Associates has raised more than $33,000 for the school that has paid for a number of projects and activities.
“School sport uniforms, two class TVs, VCRs, DVD players, volleyball nets, class trips, busses for sporting events, a $3,000 contribution towards new Yamaha Music program, six computer tables that seat two at a table worth $2,500, and a $500 donation towards playground improvements,” said Lemkay of what the fundraising organization has purchased. “We will be making more donations to the school cause, as they occur this year.”
All of the students raised their hands, when principal and music teacher Melanie Gray asked them if they loved playing music on the keyboards that MKAC Associates helped purchase.
“One of the resources that the cable money went to was our keyboard lab,” Gray told the students.
“I really enjoy having music class with you. If we didn’t have the cable channel, then we probably wouldn’t be able to have these keyboards.”
Whenever a new promotion needs to be put into the system, Lemkay or school secretary Shirley Baker, who also volunteers, spends time in the tiny 16-foot-by-10-foot room.
Old VHS videos of past school events, or areas of interest are played on the channel while the information is being inputted; a simple, but effective method, Lemkay said.
In the early 2000s, Lakeview Cable sold its connections to Cogeco Cable. Lemkay said the Cogeco has been very supportive of the venture, with all funds raised still going to help the school.