WRAL Producer Wins National Award For Personal Mission
WRAL-TV Christian McIlwain won a National Telly Award for his work.
WRAL-TV Producer Christian McIlwain recently won a
prestigious National Telly Award in the Charitable/Non for Profit category.
McIlwain created the piece on his own time and entered the video personally in the Tellys.
McIlwain and his wife Lori have a 5 year old son, Connor, with autism. Christian and Lori both work on the national level bringing attention to, and raising money for Autism Research. Several years ago they created, organized and executed an art auction called “Artism for Autism” that raised $70,000. The money helped fund a study at Wake Forest University, studying the digestive systems of kids with autism. That study is close to completion and is being called “groundbreaking research” on the topic.
McIlwain produced a video entitled “My Child Has.” The video is now being used for fundraising all around the country. About three minutes long, “My Child Has” is cut to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What A Wonderful World” performed by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole.
“My wife, Lori, came up with the concept and picked the song,” explained Christian. “I put up a canvas background in my living room on a Saturday and people just showed up with their kids for the live video segments. Other folks just email pictures of their kids and diagnoses.”
The video premiered at the Artism for Autism event and Christian says, “Now it’s kind of taken on a life of its own. DVD copies are floating around. And it runs at various Autism fundraisers all over the country.”