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Briarcliff Resident Uses Appearance On ABC-TV Show To Help Fight Bullying

Matthew Messer's appearance on "What Would You Do?"
Matthew Messer's appearance on "What Would You Do?" Video Credit: What Would You Do?
Matthew Messer is enjoying his 15 minutes of fame since appearing on "What Would You Do"? Photo Credit: Courtesy of Matthew Messer

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. -- Briarcliff's Matthew Messer's appearance on ABC-TV's "What Would You Do?" is now helping him fight bullying.

Messer, who runs Sunrise Solar Solutions with his father and another partner in Briarcliff. recently appeared on the ABC-TV program when it filmed at Jean Jacques Culinary Creations in Pleasantville.

Messer saw two kids to try to get another kid to do drugs and soon stepped in to help the kid who was being pressured.

"I never in a million lifetimes thought there was any way this could possibly happen," Messer said. "I was totally off guard.

In retrospect, Messer said it was goofy to think of how loud they were talking. He decided to step in when he realized no one else was stopping the boys.

He said the situation reminded him of a sociology case study where a woman was being attacked and 35 people heard her screaming but no one stepped in to help.

"It's the bystander effect," Messer said. "The more people, the less likely you are to help out."

Messer said being approached by ABC's John Quinones and being told he was on a television program was one of the few times in his life he was speechless.

"Two cameras, two boom mics and five people  rushed out," Messer said. "It was a jaw dropping moment. I could barely process it. I had never heard of the show."

Since being on the show, Messer said people have told him he should be the next Bachelor and he has received marriage proposals.

But Messer is putting his fame to good use, taking part in a fundraiser for the National Bullying Prevention Center.

He has already raised $5,500 and Sunrise Solar Solutions is matching all donations up to $2,500.

"People have told me my segment brought tears to their eyes," Messer said. "So many other people can relate to this. The National Center for Bullying Prevention seemed like the most worthy cause for directing attention and funds."

Messer, who said he was bullied in school for being short, said he is hoping ABC will donate.

"This has been one of theU most encouraging experiences of my life," Messer said.

To donate to the project, visit

To view Messer's segment, visit

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