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West Bend Mutual Insurance Co. films commerical at Eagle business

July 31, 2012

When the worst happens, there is always a silver lining; words that West Bend Mutual Insurance Co. strives to prove to its customers every day. Those moments when a claims adjuster is able to make a bad situation a little better have become the basis of the company's heart-touching TV commercials. So it would come as no surprise that when a caring group of West Bend adjusters responded to aid the resilient residents of Eagle after an EF2 tornado devastated the town, a commercial-worthy story unfolded.

The silver lining

After the tornado devastated Eagle on June 21, 2010, Hen House Cafe in Eagle owner Mary Matuszewski emerged from her house the next morning to survey the damage around her house, which, fortunately, consisted only of a lot of fallen trees. With one of those trees blocking her car in the garage, Matuszewski hopped on her bike and rode to the restaurant to investigate the level of damage there.

"When I rode up to the restaurant, there was West Bend Mutual Insurance's motor home, parked in the lot (of the restaurant)," Matuszewski remembers. The mobile unit and three West Bend Mutual adjusters were using her parking lot as a command post to assist clients throughout the area, unaware that Matuszewski and the Hen House were West Bend Mutual customers. In the midst of the damage that surrounded her, she couldn't help but laugh just a little that the company's claim of actually beating the homeowner home was true.

One of the adjusters on scene was claims manager Mark Horwath. He explained that the mobile home, also known as "the responder," is sent to disaster areas to make it easier for customers to process claims.

"We understand that when a tornado occurs, power goes out and phones go missing so you can't always call your adjuster right away," explained Horwath. "We attempt to set up in those areas and attempt to have a presence" to make it easier for customers to file their claims.

Matuszewski entered her restaurant to find that lightning had hit the restaurant and knocked out her computers. Since power was out, everything in the refrigerator was lost, and pools of water covered the floors from the melting ice. By the time Matuszewski had everything inside surveyed, the West Bend Mutual adjusters had already backed the mobile home up to the restaurant and were running an extension cord to the freezer so Matuszewski wouldn't have to lose any more food.

"I knew they had other people to take care of," recalls Matuszewski. "I just felt 'wow, they're doing this service for me.' It was really special."

With so many things left to take care of at home, Matuszewski was concerned about leaving her restaurant unattended. The adjusters offered to keep an eye on the restaurant while she tended to things at home.

"It brings a tear to my eye because that was really a good thing for them to do for me, knowing I had my own thing to do at home," said Matuszewski. "They were just there helping out. They wanted to do all they could do to help out."

Matuszewski was so impressed by the kindness of the three adjusters that she called one of their superiors to let them know how wonderful they had been.

Nine months after the tornado, Matuszewski got a phone call. West Bend Mutual wanted to retell the story of the Hen House and West Bend Mutual in one of their new commercials. On June 9, a film crew arrived at the Hen House Café to film Matuszewski and the adjusters retelling the story of their encounter.

"Each of the stories of the silver lining is based on a true encounter," said Kevin Rausch, director ofmarketing for the company.

"It was just a wonderful circumstance" of what the company stands for, he added.

"Our brand, messaging and advertising is based on what our associates do here, which are examples of the silver lining and going above and beyond," said Rausch.

Surely some Eagleresidents still have some fear and sadness. "I think there will be for a while," Matuszewski said. But as for their own silver lining in Eagle, "I think people coming together and helping one another" is the light in this, said Matuszewski.

The commercial is scheduled to air in late August or early September.

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Weekend Happenings

Featured this week:  

Spring Seedling Sale & Greenhouse Open House: 10 a.m. May 23, NuGenesis Farm, N68 W33208 County Road K, Oconomowoc. A variety of organic veggie and herb seedlings to plant in your home or community garden this spring will be for sale. All plant sale profits will benefit the Giving Garden initiative.

Memorial Honor Celebration: 8 a.m. May 23, Wisconsin Harley-Davidson, 1280 Blue Ribbon Drive, Oconomowoc. Daylong event begins with reveille and breakfast at 8 a.m. followed by color guard and the national anthem. The event also includes military and veterans organizations, interactive displays and vehicles, food and beverages and entertainment. Evening showing of “Honor Flight: One Last Mission.” on a big, outdoor screen.

"Small Space Container Gardens" Seminar: 11 a.m. May 23, Ebert’s Greenhouse Village, W1795 Fox Road, Ixonia. Free educational seminar by gardening expert Melinda Myers. Melinda, who will also be available to answer gardening questions. Enter to win a $500 Ebert’s shopping spree with Melinda.

Tyke Hike: 10 a.m. May 23, Lapham Peak State Park, W329 N846, Delafield. Children and their families will hike with a guide and a representative of the Delafield Library will share books, songs and a craft to enhance the experience. Meet at the Lapham Peak Tower. State park sticker is required.

Updates to this calendar are made weekly Monday afternoon. 

 

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