Raycom Media owned stations WALB-TV in Albany, Georgia, and WDAM-TV in Hattiesburg, Mississippi raised more than $585,000 to help people affected by recent deadly tornadoes.
WALB -TV and the American Red Cross have raised more than $202,000 through a one-day phone bank and ongoing drive for online donations, “Rise Up for Recovery – Give for South Georgia Tornado Relief.”
WDAM-TV and the Greater Pinebelt Community Foundation raised $385,000 for tornado relief through a one-day telethon, “Pine Belt Strong.” Three other Raycom Media television stations in Mississippi and Tennessee joined that effort: WLBT-TV in Jackson, MS; WLOX-TV in Biloxi, MS; and WMC-TV in Memphis, TN.
“When our communities are in need, Raycom Media stations respond,” said Raycom Media President and CEO Pat LaPlatney. “Thanks to our amazing viewers and local partners, the people of Albany and Hattiesburg will rebuild, and WALB and WDAM will continue to serve those communities throughout the recovery.”
On January 21st and 22nd, devastating EF-2 and EF-3 tornadoes killed 16 people and destroyed homes and businesses in South Georgia. This was a second round of damaging storms for the area. Earlier in the month, a severe storm destroyed hundreds of homes in southwest Georgia.
“WALB was proud to host this event and we were touched by the outpouring of community support,” said WALB Vice President and General Manager, Jim Wilcox. “Though the road to recovery will be a long one, we are confident that South Georgia will Rise Up!”
The tornado that tore through the Pine Belt of Mississippi on January 21st was classified as an EF-3. Four people died and more than 1,100 homes and businesses were destroyed or damaged.
“For over 60 years WDAM has been part of the community and it is our responsibility to give back. We are in awe of our viewers’ willingness to support their neighbors,” said Jama Killingsworth, WDAM’s Vice President and General Manager.