18th Annual Coats for Children Campaign a Success Thanks to WRAL Viewers

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Coats for the Children logo WRAL-TV viewers once again have come through to make sure needy Triangle children will be warm this winter.   WRAL-TV’s 18th annual Coats for the Children collected over 5,000 coats and raised nearly $80,000 for Salvation Army families in need.

The campaign ran from November 18 – December 31, 2006, and included a Coats for the Children Telethon on Friday, December 8th.

“We raised an incredible amount of money for the Salvation Army this year, especially considering we produced one less half hour special, due to the Lottery needing our studio for late night production,” said WRAL-TV Senior Producer Phyllis Parish, who produced the telethon.

Because the station could only produce a 12:30pm and 7pm special this year, Parish worked to find extra special ‘thank you’ gifts for Telethon contributors.

“With all the buzz about the Monet in Normandy exhibit, I thought it would be exciting to include some nice artwork as pledge incentives,” she said.  “We found an impressionistic artist named Allen Montague to participate in our Telethon programs and he agreed to create a painting during each of the half hour specials!  It was fun watching these pieces of art come together during the specials!  He also donated 100 prints of his lovely Pullen Park painting for each $100 credit card donation!  These were very popular and generated a large number of donations for us.”

WRAL-TV Anchor Bill Leslie generously donated his popular CD’s as another pledge incentive.  Parish said, “His music always makes our phones ring!”

WRAL-TV Debra Morgan also got into the action, contacting the Carolina Hurricanes to obtain some amazing Canes gear for ‘thank you’ gifts.  She was able to snag items such as Justin Williams’ helmet, Eric Staal’s gloves and Erik Cole’s hockey stick.  All of these items were autographed by the respective players and each pulled in $1000 for the Telethon. 

“To top off a very exciting Telethon, our online contributions were huge, this year!” said Parish.  “The WRAL.com team did a great job cross-promoting our Coats for the Children campaign, especially setting up a ‘virtual coat’ so donating online was extremely easy for our viewers.”  WRAL-TV raised $7,000 through WRAL.com. 

“…it was a real team effort pulling in some great pledge incentives…and thy really worked!” said Parish.  “The phones rang and the online virtual coat really worked for us, too!” 

Since 1989, WRAL has collected more than 98,000 coats and raised $944,000 to provide winter clothing for Salvation Army families.  Jiffy Lube and Capital Bank both continued their support as a community sponsor of this project. 

On Saturday, January 6, 2007, more than 50 volunteers showed up to help sort coats for the Salvation Army of Wake County.  Volunteer organizations included: Swing Phi Swing  Sorority, EDS Corporation, student volunteers from area high schools, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, the Healing Place for Women, and the Healing Place for Men to name a few.
 
Thanks to all who contributed and volunteered during the 2006 WRAL-TV Coats for the Children Campaign.  Many Triangle children now have coats thanks to your generosity.

Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Loretta Harper-Arnold & Phyllis Parish
for their contributions to this capcom story.

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