||UCP Celebrates Association With WRAL
The United Cerebral Palsy Association of North Carolina recently recognized WRAL-TV for their dedication to the annual telethon for cerebral palsy. Star Fest has been an annual event for 30 years.
Sunday, January 30, was to be the 31st telecast of Star Fest on WRAL-TV and the first UCP-NC telethon of the millennium. However, the deep snow that bombarded the Triangle and ground traffic to a halt caused the cancellation of the event. In June, WRAL produced a half-hour special about the Association to recognize this year’s anniversary and help raise money in lieu of the telethon.
Produced by WRAL’s Kevin Shand, “UCP: Understanding Disabilities, Creating Opportunities” featured several of the programs that UCP-NC manages. The program highlighted the supported living facility here in Raleigh, the UCP group home in Greenville, the supported living center in Wilmington, and the employment program at Copymatic. Also featured was the Charlie Gaddy Children’s Center here in Raleigh; former WRAL-TV anchor Gaddy was instrumental in the early success of the telethon and was a recipient of the UCP’s Humanitarian Award in 1994. WRAL anchor Jim Payne hosted “UCP” which aired on WRAL on Saturday, June 24th at 7:30pm.
Because of the cancellation of this year’s telethon, UCP-NC raised $21,812 through their VIP campaign and through pre-telethon activities and sponsorships only. Compared to the approximately $38,000 raised with 1999’s Star Fest, the affect of the snow storm is obvious. The monies raised through the telethon continue throughout the year; with two or three follow-up mailings to new donors reached through Star Fest, UCP-NC usually receives an average of $60,000 additional dollars. Throughout the 30 years UCP and WRAL have worked together in telethons, a total of $10,753,326 has been raised. Triangle Area Director of Marketing and Development for UCP-NC, Patricia Reid Barnett said, “. . . you can see WRAL-TV5 has made a tremendous difference in the lives of countless people served by UCP over the years, and Star Fest has meant a tremendous source of interesting new people in our mission as well as expanding our fundraising efforts!” Star Fest 2001, now to be the 31st UCP telethon broadcast, will most likely be slated for next January.