Detroit’s WDIV Raises $500K For Hurricane Relief

The city of Detroit is about 1,500 miles from Key West, Fla., ground zero for Hurricane Irma and another 1,300 miles from Houston, pummeled by the flood waters of Hurricane Harvey.

But that didn’t stop WDIV, Detroit’s NBC affiliate owned by Graham Media, and the generous people in that market from raising almost $500,000 in an all-day telethon to benefit the American Red Cross relief efforts for Texas and Florida.

WDIV teamed up with Art Van Furniture and the American Red Cross Michigan Region all day Tuesday, Sept. 12, to man the phone banks.

“Television has the power to show in vivid images just how destructive a hurricane can be,” said Marla Drutz, WDIV’s general manager.

“It took a lot of hard work and resources to plan and execute this initiative. There is nothing better than watching great people do great things and I saw that firsthand today.”

Art Van Furniture, WDIV’s telethon partner donated $100,000 today and hosted a phone bank at one of its stores.

WDIV reporter Hank Winchester and Kelly Stafford (wife of Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford)

Kelly Stafford, wife of Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, helped work the telethon phone bank. Matthew surprised her live on TV while she was answering phones, with a recorded message to her that he was donating $50,000 on their behalf.

When the devastation of Hurricane Harvey was in the headlines, WDIV reached out to a community partner — the Arts, Beats and Eats Foundation — which raised $36,775 at its annual Labor Day festival in Royal Oak. It presented that check at the telethon.

In addition, shortly after Hurricane Harvey, Graham Media’s parent company, Graham Holdings, made a $100,000 contribution that was split between the Houston area Red Cross and the Houston Food Bank to help heal those communities.

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