Jan 5, 2021

Share Your Holidays Shatters Record

Category: Station News

Wausau, WI, January 5, 2020: WSAW NewsChannel 7 and FOX WZAW’s annual Share Your Holidays campaign has shattered a record in 2020. Between viewer donations and matching grants, $208,532 was raised, more than doubling the previous campaign record of $100,091. One hundred percent of the money is split between the Wausau Salvation Army and The Neighbors’ Place.

“The generosity of the people of Central and North Central Wisconsin never fails to amaze me”, said Jeff Thelen, WSAW anchor and campaign coordinator. “This year with the pandemic, I had no idea what to expect. I should have known, once again they’d come through.”

2020 marks the 18th year of Share Your Holidays. Thanks to this year’s record donation, Share Your Holidays has now raised $1,026,857 since it’s inception.

“Experts say that every dollar donated to a food pantry can generate three to four meals,” said Jeff Thelen. “The fact that we’ve put three to four million meals on people’s tables over the years takes my breath away, humbles and overwhelms me.”

Thanks to matching grants, every dollar given up to $90,000 was doubled, the most ever in Share Your Holidays history. That was all possible because of several local foundations and families: The BA and Esther Greenheck Foundation, The MacDonald Foundation, The Miller-Halverson Family, the Dudley Foundation, The Judd S. Alexander Foundation, and IncredibleBank.

“To have our partners step up in such a challenging year and provide $90,000 in matching grants is nothing short of amazing, said Bridget Fargen, WSAW/WZAW-TV News Director. “It shows how much they care about the people who live here and helping those who need it.”

The COVID-19 pandemic forced some significant changes to this year’s campaign. Many of the traditional events used to drive donations had to be cancelled or modified. Instead, viewers were encouraged to donate online or by mail. IncredibleBank, a long-time partner of Share Your Holidays, created an online portal for donations. IncredibleBank also accepted donations at their locations in the Wausau area. Another long-time partner, Wagner Shell, donated a portion of all their sales on December 18th, raising over $3,000.

“The generosity of the community has been overwhelming,” said Al Lancaster, WSAW/WZAW VP/GM. “The need has never been greater and our area responded!”