BOARDMAN -- Youngstown-area residents overwhelmed area radio and television stations Saturday by donating roughly $250,000 and two truckloads of goods during an eight-hour telethon for relief efforts in New York City and Washington, D.C.
The telethon was a joint effort between local Clear Channel radio stations and WYTV-TV 33. At the TV station, 10 phones designated for the telethon rang constantly and were quickly joined by 10 newsroom phones to handle calls. At 8 p.m., the scheduled end of the telethon, $252,405 had been pledged, with phones still ringing.
"It's an obvious tribute to the people [of this region]," said WYTV news director Pat Livingston. "I think everybody felt they had to do something."
As for emergency items, donors filled a tractor-trailer truck donated by Carney-NcNicholas of Austintown and a second delivery-sized truck with water, sports drinks, gloves, boots, socks, underwear, flashlights, batteries and other items. Carney-McNicholas drivers will drive the goods to New York beginning Monday, with a television crew following.
'Incredible': Clear Channel worker Chris Lewis said he could not believe the outpouring of support from local residents at the company's headquarters on South Avenue in Boardman. He called it an "incredible" response from people who were touched, as Americans, by the tragedy.
"This didn't just affect New York," Lewis said. "This affected Youngstowners, Clevelanders, even people on the West Coast. This affected the entire nation."