May 5, 2021

WMTV honored as finalist for national, ‘Service to America’ Awards

Category: Station News

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - NBC15′s year-long effort to fight hunger in Southern Wisconsin is being recognized nationally. The station was named as a finalist in the prestigious Celebration of Service to America Awards, which are given annually by the National Association of Broadcasters Leadership Foundation.

The honor recognizes the television station for its overall efforts, excellence and commitment to serving its community. WMTV NBC15 is one of three finalists in the medium market category.

“This recognition is not possible without the generosity of our viewers, the business community who helped sponsor our efforts, and our partner for 25 years, Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin. To be one of three Medium Market television stations in the country to be recognized by the NAB is a defining moment for our station and employees,” said Don Vesely, vice president and general manager of WMTV NBC15.

In 2020, the station’s combined fundraising efforts raised nearly $5.6 Million for Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin.

Learn more about our efforts to help fight hunger by watching our submission video.

Each year, WMTV raises awareness about local food insecurities and the needs of hungry individuals and families through our ‘Share Your Holidays’ campaign. In 2020, we amplified our efforts over a 10-month period – beginning in early March when the COVID-19 pandemic started and emergency orders were issued for Wisconsin. Schools and businesses were closed. People were furloughed.

“We knew the number of people needing help would only grow and that the numbers would include people needing help for the first time. We knew we needed to do something-- and fast. That’s what inspired us to launch the ‘Care Box Campaign’ with our friends at Second Harvest,” said Jessica Laszewski, news director of WMTV NBC15.

The campaign kicked off March 19 and raised more than $3 Million in private funding for the Care Box Challenge, and other COVID-19 relief. The campaign also helped secure an additional $10 million in public funding for Second Harvest.

WMTV continued its commitment to help the hungry through special reports-- we used our platforms to shine a light on individual needs and future fundraising events, including the Adopt A Dairy Cow campaign in June, Go Orange Day in September, and the 25th NBC15 Share Your Holidays Campaign in the final two months of the year. The latter raised a record 6.3 million meals or the equivalent of $2,094,062.

Second Harvest Foodbank serves 16 counties and partners with more than 225 programs and agencies in Southern Wisconsin.

WMTV is one of only 28 television and radio stations to be recognized as a finalist for the NABLF’s Celebration of Service to America Awards.

Read more about the Celebration of Service to America Awards here. “America’s local broadcasters’ fundamental commitment to public service continues to shine brighter than ever, and this year’s finalists embody the close bond between stations and their communities,” said NAB Leadership Foundation President Michelle Duke. “We look forward to celebrating these outstanding stations and honoring their critical work informing, supporting and strengthening the public in a year of unparalleled difficulties.”

Winners will be announced during the Celebration of Service to America Awards program premiering on July 10.

The 2021 Celebration of Service to America Awards will once again be broadcast on television and radio stations across the country as a special one-hour awards ceremony featuring celebrity guests, past honorees and policymakers.

WMTV serves as south central Wisconsin’s NBC and CW affiliates, and is owned by Gray Television.