The Bob Honel Christmas Special is a Christmas tradition for Peter Malinger, executive producer at Image Pictures.
The show has been a yearly production for the past 10 years, just not always in it’s current format, Malinger said. It started off as a Christmas music album played by Bob Honel, a pianist and former Tomah music teacher.
After the first two years, the album became The Bob Honel Christmas Special, a video in which Honel played music for an hour, Malinger said. After that third year, more people got involved in the special as Honel asked to get more musicians from across the area involved. It has been growing ever since.
The 2018 edition will double as a fundraiser, Malinger said.
“We thought we’ve got such a great attraction with the community ... let’s make a video of the show but then give 100 percent of the proceeds to the Boys & Girls Club as a fundraiser,” he said.
The special will be sold on DVD and Blu-ray for $20, and all proceeds will go to the Boys & Girls Club. The discs will be available for purchase after Dec. 17, which is when it will premiere at the Ho-Chunk Theater at 6 p.m. People can pre-order a disc at First Weber Realty and then pick them up from area businesses.
Lindsey Guden, club director of the Tomah Boys & Girls Club, said it’s wonderful that Image Pictures is being so generous.
“It’s great to have community involvement from these types of things when it’s freely given to see that they care about us, the kids,” she said. “It’s really great, and I hope it’s successful.”
The artists included in the special are Bob Honel, Nora Collins, One Way North, Kyle Roberts, Bree Morgan, Kyle Sterling and, for the first time, the Tomah High School Limited Edition Show Choir.
Kate Buehner, show choir director, said this is the first time the group has been asked to do something like this.
“This is an awesome opportunity, and I don’t think the kids realized how big of a thing this was,” she said. “It has been fun ... and we’re really knee deep into our competition season, so it’s hard sometimes to step back and go do something else, but this is good for them. It’s good to branch out and be part of our community.”
Limited Edition member Destinee Perry said joining the production has been a fun experience from start to finish.
“It has definitely been kind of a little journey,” she said. “We had a big-time focus on the vocals to make sure it was good enough for us to make it public.”
Fellow Limited Edition member Cameron Butler said he’s glad to have been a part of the special and help out in the community.
“I think that’s amazing that we have this opportunity to kind of give back to the community as a show choir,” he said.
Brett Martin, another show choir member, agrees.
“I think it’s really awesome that we can help out the community whenever we can,” he said. “I think that’s definitely an added bonus to the whole thing.”