DMA 41

WGAL Leads ‘Sister City’ Relief Efforts

The Hearst NBC affiliate in Lancaster-Harrisburg-York-Lebanon, Pa., joined with a number of local groups and charities to raise money to help tornado victims in Harrisburg, Ill.; Lebanon, Ohio; Lebanon, Mo.; and other Midwest towns.

Hearst Television’s NBC affiliate WGAL Lancaster-Harrisburg-York-Lebanon, Pa. (DMA 41), has welcomed a number of area community groups, schools and local Rotary Clubs to join the station’s effort to raise funds for the American Red Cross’s disaster relief efforts following the unprecedented outbreak of tornados in the Midwest and South. The majority of these groups are organized within the Martin Luther King Day Services Committee.

The groups, led by Harrisburg School District Superintendent Sybil Knight-Burney, and Paul Quinn, president-GM of WGAL, noticed that Midwest towns with familiar names, such as Harrisburg, Ill.; Lebanon, Ohio; Lebanon, Mo.; and Elizabethtown, Ky., were hit by the tornados. They decided to launch this grassroots fundraising drive to support the American Red Cross in its work to bring relief to those who lost so much in these “sister towns.”

Previously WGAL worked with the Red Cross to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations to support relief efforts following Hurricane Katrina, the Asian Tsunami and several other natural disasters.

In the early-in-the season outbreak, approximately 90 tornados affected 11 states. Since last Wednesday, the Red Cross has sheltered hundreds of people displaced by tornadoes in 11 states.

The Martin Luther King Day Services Committee is a consortium of more than 40 community organizations in and around the Pennsylvania Capitol Region. The committee is initiating fund drives in the schools and encouraging participating groups and interested individuals to get involved.

By the time that the organizations first met on Monday, WGAL had already launched an on-air campaign, encouraging viewers who wanted to offer help to those in need in the Midwest, to make on-line or check donations to the Red Cross Spring Storms Fund through the systems set up by the television station.


With an established method already in place, WGAL offered its services to be the collection point for any funds contributed through the organizations. Any other organizations or individuals may make a contribution via a mailed check or an online credit card donation through the process WGAL already has in place.

Online contributions may be made by visiting WGAL’s home page at, and clicking on the “Community” tab on the left side navigation bar. There, donors will locate the Red Cross graphic, which will link to the actual contribution page within the American Red Cross domain.  Contributions will be transmitted to the Red Cross for use for in its Disaster Relief Fund for those affected by the spring storms.

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