“We can overcome evil with good.”
– Santa Claus
WRAL once again holds the station’s annual Coats for the Chidlren Telethon on Friday, December 14, 2012.
WRAL-TV never imagined that a telethon to help Triangle area children would be interrupted by a CBS News report about a horrific shooting at an elementary school in Newton, CT, in which 20 children were killed. The 1pm telethon special ended up being pre-empted by news coverage, but WRAL staffers shuffled to create a new special after the late newscast, employees volunteered to stay until midnight to work phones, and viewers generously contributed.
“Our viewers, and our Coats Telethon team, were all so stunned and saddened by the horrific tragedy in Connecticut,” said Phyllis Parish, the producer of the telethon. “We felt helpless seeing the scene at Sandy Hook, but we realized that there was something we could do. Those of us at WRAL and our viewers knew we could at least help a child in our community. The phones started ringing and did not let up until midnight when we wrapped up our Telethon.”
The 1pm special moved to 11:30pm and the 7pm half-hour special went on as regularly scheduled. WRAL Anchors filled in for each other, volunteers on the phone bank stayed beyond their schedules, employees came back after their evening at home to help with the late shift.
“It was a real team effort,” said Parish.
WRAL-TV’s David Crabtree shares his wishes with Santa.
Santa Claus and Wool E. Bull both came by to help with the midday special. They ended up watching news coverage with the rest of the stunned volunteers.
Santa had some sage words to share with WRAL-TV Anchor David Crabtree, “We can overcome evil with good.”
And the rest of the day was spent doing as much good as possible to help needy children in the Triangle.
WRAL-TV Vice President & General Manager Steve Hammel sent out a plea to employees Friday afternoon and was overwhelmed by the response.
“A BIG thank you to everyone involved with Coats for the Children,” Hammel said. “Many of our employees were here from before the sun came up (6:00AM) through after midnight. From the outstanding looking set to the effort of the late night phone volunteers and everything in between, this was a huge Team effort.”
The effort paid off. Currently WRAL has raised $72,000, and donations are still coming in through texts and WRAL. com.
Thanks to all the WRAL viewers who so generously contributed, and are still contributing, to help the children in our community.
It’s not too late to donate. Find a list of drop-off locations or donate funds online:
Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Phyllis Parish for the capcom photo of Debra Morgan & Anita Normanly.