Behind the Scenes of My First Telethon

by - January 08, 2016

On Thursday, WTVY hosted a telethon with the East Alabama Chapter of the American Red Cross to raise money for victims of the Christmas 2015 floods. While we didn't set a specific goal, our end total blew everyone away. Between 12:00 and 6:30 p.m., people of the Wiregrass donated more than $32,000 - everyone from a 6-year-old little girl bringing in her piggy bank to local businesses pledging thousands.

Days like yesterday are what make this business worth all the hassle. And there was a lot of behind-the-scenes hassling going on to get this telethon on the air. By the time I left the station, I had produced and boothed five shows. Talk about exhausting!

This was a very different kind of producing than what I do on a daily basis. Instead of stories, I was arranging interviews and profile pieces, all while making sure we had plenty of time to update our totals throughout our coverage.

The process got a little confusing at times, and more than once I had to call down to my director to walk through what I had put together to make sure it would work.

Keeping track of the amount of people we had moving through our studios was enough to make me dizzy! We had mayors from four cities, EMA officials from multiple counties, and I lost track of all the Red Cross people. Add to that all of our station employees stepping up to answer phones and take donations. It was like Grand Central Station, only about five times smaller!

The generosity of the Wiregrass never ceases to amaze me. In times when you would expect people to be falling apart, the people who live here are coming together. It doesn't matter if you didn't lose anything or know anyone who did; people here just step up and offer their help, whether it be money, food, or time. I'm truly blessed to have lived in this place my entire life, and I'm so proud to be a part of this monumental effort put forth by WTVY.

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