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[04/21/08 - 04:16 PM]
ABC Affiliates Raise Nearly Four Million Dollars in the Spirit of "Oprah's Big Give"
WPTA-TV, Fort Wayne, IN; WSOC-TV, Charlotte, NC; and KTVX-TV, Salt Lake City, UT each received an extra $30,000 from ABC and "Oprah's Big Give."

[via press release from ABC]

ABC AFFILIATES RAISE NEARLY FOUR MILLION DOLLARS IN THE SPIRIT OF "OPRAH'S BIG GIVE"

Three Affiliates Awarded an Extra $30,000 Each for Their Incredible Campaigns

ABC and "Oprah's Big Give" Gave Affiliates a Million Dollars and Challenged Them To GIVE BIG and GIVE BACK to Their Communities

In the spirit of the inspiring reality series "Oprah's Big Give," ABC handed over a million dollars to local ABC affiliates and challenged them to give big and give back to their communities during an eight-week campaign. Ninety stations raised nearly four million dollars in cash and in-kind donations in excess of the original seed money, and that number continues to grow.

In a surprise twist, three of the participating affiliates were rewarded for their phenomenal campaigns, and each received an extra $30,000 from ABC and "Oprah's Big Give." The three judges from "Oprah's Big Give" -- Jamie Oliver, Tony Gonzalez and Malaak Compton-Rock - recognized the three affiliates based on who they felt accomplished the "Biggest Give." The outpouring of support in all of the communities has exceeded everyone's expectations.

"We couldn't be more thrilled with the fabulous response from all of the affiliates. Their work went above and beyond our expectations and has proven to be unbelievably rewarding," said Marla Provencio, executive vice president, Marketing, ABC Entertainment.

"This has been so inspiring for everyone involved. By working together with our affiliates, we were able to generate a legacy in their individual communities in a very powerful and lasting way," said John Rouse, senior vice president, ABC Affiliate Relations.

Participating stations were each given $10,000 and asked to be creative and make the money grow to pay it forward in a unique way and make a difference in their community. Almost 100 markets participated in this exciting promotion and transformed the money into even more dollars for their community. Some of the causes the affiliates undertook ranged from helping a family of a paralyzed teenager to creating scholarship funds for homeless teens who want to attend college.

The three affiliates who were surprised to find out their station would receive an extra $30,000 are:

* WPTA-TV, Fort Wayne, IN - With the help of the City of Fort Wayne, viewers and even the state of Indiana, this affiliate raised $1,147,219 in cash and in-kind donations for Aboite New Trails, whose goal is to promote the expansion of multi-use trails throughout Southwest Allen County in Illinois. Six Years ago Sharon Repka's husband, Ron, was struck by a drunk driver while riding his bike. Sharon started the Ronald G. Repka Foundation, which advocates bicycle/driver safety awareness. With this contribution, Aboite New Trails can help Sharon get the word out on how to create safer trails for cyclists and runners in their community. Former Colts coach Tony Dungy was on hand to greet the large crowd at the presentation.

* WSOC-TV, Charlotte, NC - The affiliate put out a call to action asking local businesses to match their initial $10,000 donation, as well as to collect donations from their viewers. Almost $40,000 was raised, which will enable Second Harvest of Metolina to send 1,500 children home with backpacks filled with food every weekend for an entire year. The station partnered with race car driver Martin Truex Jr., and his foundation donated items and sought cash donations from other NASCAR drivers and team sponsors.

* KTVX-TV, Salt Lake City, UT - The affiliate turned the station's $10,000 seed money into a project worth well over $200,000 for Hearts 2 Homes and Utah Foster Care Foundation. John and Cayce Thill, who have two biological and 12 adopted children, believe in eating dinner together but didn't have a dining room large enough. What started off as a dining room makeover -- so a foster care family of 16 could eat together -- turned into hundreds of volunteers and companies donating to make over the entire house. The Thills are paying their gift forward by helping other parents with foster child training and organizing a foster family retreat.





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