WRAL Viewers Call In $107,000 During Telethon for Katrina Victims

WRAL-TV 5 logo WRAL Viewers Call In $107,000 During Telethon for Katrina Victims
A variety of local celebrities helped man the phones for WRAL-TV’s telethon to help Katrina victims.
Sylvia Hatchell
UNC Women’s Basketball Coach Sylvia Hatchell took time out to help.

WRAL-TV viewers stepped up to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina in a big way on Tuesday, September 6, 2005. The station held a telethon as part of Operation Storm Relief, airing a half-hour special at 7pm and keeping phone lines open until 10pm. Viewers responded with $107,000 in donations for the American Red Cross.

“It was a great outpouring from our viewers!” said WRAL-TV Senior Producer Phyllis Parish.

Local celebrities literally answered the call to help with WRAL. Some who worked the phone lines included NC folk musician Mike Cross, UNC Women’s Basketball Coach Sylvia Hatchell, Hurricanes players Jesse Boulerice & Kevyn Adams, N&O columnists Dennis Rogers & Barry Saunders, and Clay Aiken’s mother, Faye Parker, a celebrity in her own right.

Mike Maze
WRAL-TV Meteorologist Mike Maze answered the phones, taking pledges, during the half-hour special.
WRAL-TV’s Pam Saulsby (left) talks with Barry Potter, a local official with the local American Red Cross, during the telethon.

WRAL-TV personalities hosted the program and even sat on the phone bank. The 30-minute special included interviews from the NC Food Bank and Wake County’s Disaster Victim Center at Nortel.

WRAL shared the half-hour program with UNC-TV who aired the Operation Storm Relief special statewide and staffed 20 phones in their studio from 7-8pm.

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