Bay PTA members shine in national TV program

The Bay Village “Biggest Loser” cast, from left, front row: Marilyn Smith, Diane Frye, Beth Lally, Andrea Sheppa; back: Aaron Ereditario, Susan Janke, Jason Martin, Melissa Mason, Anita Bauknecht, Pam Bonnett, Joy May, Kathy Winzig. Not pictured are Holly Colleran, Suzanne Hippler, Andrea Schwartz and Robin Lucak.

Our Bay Village PTAs – Early Childhood, Normandy, Westerly, middle school and high school – are committed to all that is best for our children, including encouragement of a healthy lifestyle. Yet when Bay High graduate Marissa Stein (’98), a producer on the NBC hit television show “The Biggest Loser,” called and asked to feature our members on her program, I had many questions about how we would be portrayed.

Marissa assured me that the cooking segment would focus on preparing healthy meals for our families, so after receiving a thumbs up from local and state PTA Council officers and our Bay school administrators, I agreed. (It is not easy to turn down a Bay High graduate!)

We gathered in Mrs. Anita Bauknecht’s Family & Consumer Sciences classroom at Bay High for what turned out to be a marathon cooking and taping event. However, hours of preparation paid off. Like PTA moms and dads everywhere, Bay Village was prepared with every last detail, including the provision of food processors, pots and pans, measuring cups and spoons, all kinds of utensils and more.

The Ohio PTA office provided us with PTA banners and tablecloths to use for the filming and also provided encouragement that this would be a great opportunity for us.  We even had our aprons with the National PTA logo. The “Biggest Loser” crew provided the food, including its secret, healthy ingredients for the Piled High Breakfast Supreme Pizza that included low-fat turkey bacon and sausage.

Our PTA Council members, school staff and administrators pitched in to help; 16 cheerful volunteers arrived ready for the taping. The taping session lasted several hours, which included many multiple “takes” of various parts of the process until our producer felt they were perfect. Quite a few of us were interviewed. But in the end, only one-and-a-half minutes were broadcast on the Monday, Jan. 28, program. You can view our appearance in the “Waist and Money” episode on the “Biggest Loser” website at We are shown about 53 minutes into the two-hour program.

In spite of our moment in the spotlight, I hope viewers will take away how committed all PTA members are to all of our children. Our members, every day and every year, provide countless volunteer hours and raise many thousands of dollars to enrich our children’s education and promote health. Even our fundraisers, like this month’s Citrus Sale, stress wholesome, healthy choices for our families.

We are all proud to have represented Bay Village PTA on national television, and it was fun and very interesting for all of us to see a behind-the-scenes television production. Many positive comments were made, not only by those who participated, but from people who watched the show and thought we did great. Speaking for myself, I’m happy to let Hollywood move on without me as I get back to work behind-the-scenes with my fellow child advocates – our national, state and local PTA members.

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Volume 5, Issue 3, Posted 10:27 AM, 02.05.2013