In mid-August, catastrophic rain brought by Tropical Storm Fred moved across Western North Carolina, having a devastating impact on Haywood County. The storm resulted in extensive flooding to the region, destroying homes, washing out bridges and roads, and taking several lives. As the water receded and the enormous scope of the damage became clear, WLOS, Sinclair Broadcast Group’s television station in Asheville, immediately took action to help residents.
In partnership with the United Way of Haywood County, the station launched Hope for Haywood, a grass roots fundraising effort to help the residents of the county obtain needed supplies and funds to get back on their feet after the devastating storm.
Through WLOS’ newscast coverage, a public service announcement (PSA) commercial schedule and social outreach using the hashtag #TogetherWNC, the community has raised over $1,100,000 for the United Way of Haywood County in just five weeks, with over $50,000 raised on the first day.
All of the funds raised will go directly to the victims of the flood, and the drive will continue as long as residents are in need.
“While our team here at WLOS is proud to have played a vital role in raising awareness and money for our neighbors in Haywood County through the United Way, it is because of the generosity of the community here in Western North Carolina we are able to answer the call to help our friends and neighbors in need. #TogetherWNC shows us we are stronger together, and together we can truly make a difference,” said Courtney Youngblood, the station’s Vice President/General Manager.
In addition to the generous contributions from local residents, several businesses and organizations within the community supported the initiative, including Mission Hospital, Canopy Realtor Association, NC Housing Opportunity Foundation, Brace Family Foundation, A. Friends Foundation, Courtney Knight Gaines Foundation, the Coloquitt Family, WNC Bridge Foundation, Aeroflow, Plains United Methodist Church, First Baptist Church Sylva, First Bank, First United Church Franklin, Haywood Christian Ministry and the Smoky Mountain Event Center.
“The United Way of Haywood County appreciates the efforts of WLOS in a time of crisis in our community. The Hope for Haywood campaign was the catalyst needed to raise awareness of the need for funding to repair and rebuild homes after the devastating flood due to Tropical Storm Fred. We sincerely thank the station and the community for their assistance,” said Celesa Willett, Executive Director of the United Way of Haywood County.
WLOS ABC 13 serves the Asheville, NC area and the rest of Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina, keeping its audience informed since 1954 through local news, weather forecasts, traffic updates, sports, and entertainment programming.
About Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc.
Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: SBGI) is a diversified media company and leading provider of local sports and news. The Company owns and/or operates 21 regional sports network brands; owns, operates and/or provides services to 185 television stations in 86 markets; is a leading local news provider in the country; owns multiple national networks including Tennis Channel; and has TV stations affiliated with all the major broadcast networks. Sinclair’s content is delivered via multiple platforms, including over-the-air, multi-channel video program distributors, and digital and streaming platforms. The Company regularly uses its website as a key source of Company information which can be accessed at www.sbgi.net.