Inspiring Film About Chardon’s Vetter Family Debuts

The Vetter family from Chardon, Ohio is the subject of an inspiring and heartfelt independent documentary film that will have its world premiere June 14-16 at Geauga Lyric Theater on Chardon Square. The event coincides with Father’s Day weekend to highlight the film’s touching tribute to silent hero John Vetter, the humble devoted father of the Vetter family.

Set primarily in the 1970s and ’80s, TheVetters: All We Needed tells the moving story of the six close-knit Vetter siblings who overcame incredible odds to become state and national champions, world record holders, and Olympic contenders in track and field, cross country, and wrestling.

After the heartbreaking death of their mother when they were ages 7 to 14, John Vetter raised the children of Mexican/Native American and European heritage on his own.

After the heartbreaking death of their mother when they were ages 7 to 14, John Vetter raised the children of Mexican/Native American and European heritage on his own. Saddled with poverty and the lack of an extended family, the Vetters drew close and kept to themselves in response to threats that Social Services would split them up.

Through intimate and emotional interviews, the siblings share their story of an extraordinary family bond and unflinching determination that nothing was going to tear them apart.

Co-producers/co-directors Anne Bruder and Chardon native Nancy Pokorny, owners of Wagon Wheel Films in Willoughby, mark their feature film debut with this documentary that was six years in the making.

Edited in a nonlinear narrative, unlike most documentaries, The Vetters: All We Needed offers a textured style of filmmaking. Vintage 8mm film footage, family photos, archival news articles, and a dynamic musical score are woven together to create a stirring viewing experience.

The film features music from three local artists: Colette Gschwind, Anne E. DeChant (now a resident of Nashville), and Tom Evanchuck who wrote and performed the film’s theme song My Father’s Eyes Were Watching. The trailer and more information about the film can be seen below.


“The Geauga Lyric Theater Guild is honored to be hosting the World Premier of The Vetters: All We Needed,” says Chris Cipriani, Executive Director of the Geauga Lyric Theater Guild & Cultural Arts Center.

“I believe people will be truly touched and inspired by the story of the Vetter family from Chardon.”

The World Premiere Event takes place through the generous Marquee Sponsorship of the Kellogg Insurance Agency on Chardon Square and Junction Auto Family. Screenings are June 14 and 15 at 7:00 p.m. and June 16 (Father’s Day) at 3:00 p.m. at Geauga Lyric Theater, 101 Water Street, Chardon, Ohio.

Each screening will be followed by audience Q&A with the Vetters, a reception with light refreshments, and an opportunity to talk with the Vetters one-on-one. Tickets are $17 for adults, $14 for students/seniors, and $10 for children. Fifty percent of box office proceeds benefit Geauga Lyric Theater Guild.

Those planning to attend are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance online or by calling the box office at 440.286.2255.

Created in 2006, Wagon Wheel Films is a video production and independent documentary filmmaking company. Wagon Wheel Films primarily produces public relations and fundraising videos for nonprofits. In 2007, Wagon Wheel released the 30-minute documentary Willoughby’s Legend & Legacy about the history of downtown Willoughby, Ohio.

The Vetters: All We Needed is the company’s first feature length documentary release. Wagon Wheel Films is wholly owned by ABNP Productions LLC.

Geauga Lyric Theater Guild has been providing community theater for over 50 years and more recently has expanded to provide arts education in a wide variety of disciplines including visual art, dance, and photography.

GLTG’s mission is to provide arts education to people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities to help build a vibrant community through educational programs and performances that promote creative expression and civic engagement.

Geauga News
Author: Geauga News