Their broadcast area was heavily damaged by an Aug. 10 derecho with 140-mph winds that lasted for 45 minutes. There is extensive damage to cities, homes and agriculture stretching from the center of the state and east into Illinois. A 40-mile-wide path of destruction is so severe it can be seen from satellite images.
“Even though we are competitors, there was never one bit of disagreement or push back when planning this event,” said John Huff, general manager of KWWL, Quincy Media’s NBC affiliate serving the Eastern Iowa markets of Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Iowa City and Dubuque.
“It felt like we were all ONE TV station working for the common good of those in need.”
Those in need were the people of Eastern Iowa still trying to recover from the derecho that hit the area on Aug. 10. The rare weather event left massive swaths of crops destroyed and every city in its path reeling with damage rivaling that of a major hurricane.
Their broadcast area was heavily damaged by 140 mph winds that lasted for 45 minutes. There is extensive damage to cities, homes and agriculture stretching from the center of the state and east into Illinois. The 40-mile-wide path of destruction is so severe it can be seen from satellite images.
Joining KWWL for a live fundraising effort on Aug. 27 were KCRG, Gray’s ABC affiliate, and KGAN, Sinclair’s CBS affiliate, all three working cooperatively for over a week to bring Eastern Iowa United to life, a day-long community fundraiser that helped United Way chapters dealing directly with the damage and recovery efforts related to the storms. They raised $207,000 for United Way chapters helping eastern Iowa recover from the devastating storm with winds as high as 140mph and lasting for 45 minutes.
All funds raised will be distributed to the United Way of East Central Iowa, United Way of Johnson and Washington Counties, and the Cedar Valley United Way.
Huff summed up the effort with a classic Iowa belief in “helping your neighbor in times of need.”
Thom Pritz, KCRG’s general manager, stressed the focus remained on those suffering in our broadcast area. “Knowing we raised $207,000 to help so many in need today and for a long time to come, is why local TV is so vital.”
KCRG’s parent company, Gray Television, made a $25,000 donation to Eastern Iowa United and The Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation.
Glen Callanan, KGAN’s general manager, said: “Thanks to all who contributed to this historic fundraising television event and even more thanks to our viewers and citizens who went into their pockets to help their neighbors. As broadcasters, we were proud to team together to help as much as we could with our community that has taken such a blow.”
“This is a prime example of the importance of local broadcasters to their communities,” said Jim McKernan, Quincy’s regional vice president.
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