A writer trains herself to keep her ears open. This profile occurred when a friend who I had written a newspaper story about told me of a public TV program he hosted. Aldon Bultemeier worked on the program. My friend emphasized Aldon’s generosity in using every spare minute to help others. As a writer, I was impressed with Aldon’s ability to see needs and help. When I meet this type of person, it’s a joy to tell others about them, while hoping the same joyful attitude will result.
Ossian resident Aldon Bultemeier may not be an author, but his name is listed in the front of several books in the Allen County Public Library.
Since 2002, Bultemeier has helped produce a number of AFW shows at its full production facility located on the first floor of the Allen County Public Library main branch. (http://www.acpl.lib.in.us for AFW’s daily schedule).
The shows Bultemeier has helped produce include Tell America (Thursday 9:30 PM – Comcast Channel 57), Reach Out (Sunday 12:30 PM – Comcast Channel 57), Speakers and Leaders (Live 7:00 PM on the first Tuesday of each month), and Mind, Body and Spirit (Wednesdays 9:30AM – Comcast Channel 57).
As a result, in 2009 Bultemeier received a letter from the ACPL library staff, commending him for volunteering 3,000 hours to Access Fort Wayne (AFW), the city’s own cable TV station.
As part of the library’s recognition of Bultemeier’s efforts, he could select titles from three categories of books. The library staff added a new book from his selections, affixing a sticker to each with his name and an explanation of his volunteer work.
Bultemeier, a retired electrician from British Aerospace on Taylor Street in Ft Wayne, chose books on the subjects of science and photography, a personal hobby. “I looked for anything to do with audio visual work,” he explains.
On December 16, 2009, while gathered at the Access Fort Wayne Christmas Party, Aldon and his wife Charlotte, a former AFW volunteer, were presented with the Access Fort Wayne Gene Wyall plaque. Wording on the plaque is in “recognition of exceptional service in promoting Access TV’s mission in the community and surrounding area.”
The Bultemeiers have volunteered 10 years of service to AFW. “They wanted to thank us not only for our time but for promoting the station and getting other producers and shows on the air,” he says.
Coincidentally, Aldon and Charlotte met through their work with AFW. In 2004 he produced a show she hosted on AFW called “Movers, Shakers, and Undertakers”. The show ran from September 2003 until 2006. Bultemeier and Schulze fell in love and married in 2007. (Bultemeier’s first wife of 35 years, Joyce, died of cancer in 2001).
Bultemeier’s interest in audiovisual work began in 1980 when he began recording church services from Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Ossian where he attends. The radio broadcasts were designed for people unable to attend church, usually due to health reasons. The program, The Voice of Bethlehem, still airs on WZBD 92.7 FM at 11:30am Sundays in Decatur and Berne.
Bultemeier’s sons, Brian and Bruce, are in charge of the radio broadcasts. Alton also provides videotapes of church services for shut-ins. The video tapes are taken to shut-ins and residents of Ossian Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center.
Through his volunteer work Bultemeier heard about the opportunity to provide free public TV coverage for Fort Wayne area viewers through AFW. When Bultemeier retired in 2002, he began volunteering with AFW regularly.
Bultemeier has also contributed a vast amount of time as a volunteer with the Northeast Indiana Radio Reading Service (NEIRRS), a free radio reading service for people who are blind or have a visual or reading impairment.
From the organization’s facility on DiSalle Blvd in Ft Wayne volunteers of NEIRRS provide daily live readings of local news and features from newspapers, magazines, and books over sideband radio for the visually and print impaired. NEIRRS is supervised by AFW.
Bultemeier spends approximately five hours each week running the NEIRRS control room. The radio station broadcasts 24 hours a day, seven days a week providing free service to listeners in northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio who have been outfitted with a special receiver.
Bultemeier encourages other people to volunteer time with AFW and NEIRRS. “We’re always looking for more help,” he says. “If someone has an interest in audio or video work, it’s a great opportunity to find out more about that field with hands-on experience.”
For more information about AFW go to http://www.acpl.lib.in.us/afw/index.html.
For more information about NEIRRS go to
Reprinted with permission of the Ossian Sun Riser