Much like the summer heat, WRAL-TV viewers and MIX 101.5 listeners kept the phone lines and Triangle parking lots hot on Wednesday, July 19, 2017, bringing in donations during the stations’ second annual Mediathon for the BackPack Buddies. The Inter-Faith Food Shuttle worked with the Big 5 and WRAL-FM to help keep hungry kids fed. The day saw more than $188,000 raised to support the IFFS’s successful BackPack Buddies program, as well as over 2 tons of food items collected.
“What a great team effort,” said WRAL-FM Promotions Director Jason Newton. “It’s always our responsibility to have great customer service, and appreciate everyone who took the time to donate, but I keep hearing, ‘No thank you, for what you are doing’. The praises were nice to receive, which only further proved the team efforts do make an impact in community.”
MIX 101.5 personalities collected donations of non-perishable food items and backpacks at two locations. Two Men and a Mom’s morning personalities went head to head to compete to collect the most. Team Mom, headed by WRAL-FM’s Sarah King, manned the Lake Boone Shopping Center location near Food Lion, while Team Men, her morning co-hosts Bryan Lord and Kyle Smelser collected at the Triangle Town Center.
“I am so proud of our listeners!” said King. “The Triangle never ceases to surprise me. Their capacity to put themselves in other people shoes and then turn that empathy into generosity is a beautiful thing, and I am so very grateful to be a part of it!”
WRAL-TV got in on the action, hosting a daylong phone bank in Studio A, including live reports during the day’s newscasts and a special after the noon news and another at 7pm. The Big 5 pulled out a secret weapon to help motivate viewers to give. WRAL-TV Five On Your Side Executive Producer Monica Laliberte brought along her service-dog-in-training, Bongo, to help plea for donations.
“We always hear about groups taking trips to exotic places to feed hungry children,” she said. “Many of us just don’t think enough about the thousands of children right here in the Triangle who go hungry! It’s beyond sad. The BackPack Buddies program is such an awesome and easy way to help. And Bongo—who will do ANYTHING for a food-related cause— did an awesome job helping out!”
WRAL-TV Director of Local Production Phyllis Parish produced the half-hour specials and coverage in Studio A.
“Our Mediathon was a wonderful example of collaboration between MIX101.5, WRAL-TV, and WRAL.com,” she said. “From 6am to 7:30pm, when you walked into Studio A, you could feel the energy! Everyone was excited about raising money to help families who need nutritious meals.”
Thanks to all the generous MIX 101.5 listeners and WRAL-TV viewers who came through to bring donations and make monetary contributions during the 2017 Mediathon!
Thanks to WRAL-FM’s Jason Newton, WRAL-TV’s Phyllis Parish & WRAL-TV’s Wendy Gatlin for these capcom photos.