Cornell Cooperative Extension News

TV's Sheena to Throw Atlatls Made in Tioga County

This season's new TV heroine Sheena will be using Thunderbird Atlatls made right here in Tioga County!

Thunderbird Atlatls, a Candor business owned and operated by Bob Berg, was one of 15 Candor business that in 1998 took part in Agri-Cluster I, a business development project sponsored by the Cornell Cooperative Extension, Tioga County. The program was initiated to assist small family owned and operated businesses to reach national consumer expectation levels.

"When I met Bob Berg at our first Agri-cluster meeting a couple of years ago, I thought, this man belongs in the film industry," said Linda LaRosa-Mosner, developer of the program and Marketing Education Coordinator for South Central New York Resource Conservation & Development Project, Inc. "When I said it out loud everyone in the group thought I was making a pie in the sky statement bordering on a joke. The Bergs didn't laugh. They set out to develop a market for the atlatl product."

An atlatl is a device used to throw a long (about six feet) dart or spear. Using an atlatl instead of throwing the spear with bare hands makes the spear fly faster and with more power.

Bob Berg's Atlatl will soon have that audience. According to Cheryll Berg, Bob's wife and business partner, "We recently sent atlatls and darts to Disney Productions in Florida for use in the new Sheena television series. We saw a promo ad tonight on the Fox Network. Sheena will be using atlatls when the television show premiers this fall. I understand that she shoots down a plane with her atlatl! We're sending the prop company more darts. They really enjoyed using the atlatl."

Sheena, a syndicated TV show produced by Columbia TriStar, will debut this month (check your local listings!). Gena Lee Nolin (formerly of Baywatch) stars in the title role which is based on the comic strip character. The show is filmed at Disney's MGM studios in Florida.

On October 3, Cornell Cooperative Extension is kicking off Agri-cluster II, a two-part program based on the successful 1998 Agri-Cluster I in which Thunderbird Atlatl participated.

Part one of Agri-cluster II will help business enhancement and development in Candor and the Village of Owego. Part two is open to businesses throughout Tioga County and is designed to help business owners who process food or non-food products and who want to expand sales of those products on a local level and beyond.

For more information on Agri-cluster II, contact Andrew Fagan, Executive Director of Cornell Cooperative Extension, Tioga County, at (607) 687-4020.