Severe weather heroes to be featured on The Weather Channel
The Weather Channel® today announced the premiere of a special television event, "Epic Christmas," premiering Monday, Dec. 19, at 9 p.m. ET. Hosted by Steve Watson (Monster House, Don't Sweat It), "Epic Christmas" will make this year's holiday season brighter, giving five exceptional people who have helped friends, family, neighbors or strangers during this year's extraordinary weather a Christmas to remember.
"From the wildfires ravaging the West Coast to Hurricane Irene flooding many areas on the East Coast, 2011 saw violent weather, but wherever a storm emerged, heroes surfaced as well," said Michael Dingley, senior vice president of content and development. "The Weather Channel wants to honor these good people who have expressed such unselfish acts of kindness."
The Weather Channel searched for good people, putting out a call for entries for worthy contenders and Good Samaritans. For weeks, The Weather Channel Facebook fans uploaded stories of everyday people who helped in ways, big or small, during severe weather - be it thunderstorm, flood, tornado, hurricane, drought or snowstorm. The contest narrowed the sea of nominees down to the following five finalists:
David Miller of Pratt City, AL, a single father and cancer survivor who collected toiletries, food, clothing and other items for community members after an EF-4 tornado struck the Birmingham, AL, area and left many homeless.
Gabe Allen of Joplin, MO, a police officer who spent more than 18 hours digging through rubble, rescuing anyone he could find, offering comfort to those in need after an EF-5 tornado hit Joplin, MO.
Patti Miller of Sierra Vista, AZ, a real estate agent who raised nearly $100,000 to help firefighters and residents after wildfires burned through Arizona.
Raegan Junge of Keystone, IA, a 6-year-old girl who raised more than $1,500 selling homemade bracelets to deliver to an elderly couple who lost everything after an EF-5 tornado destroyed Joplin, MO.
Suzy Godding of Mahwah, NJ, a stay-at-home mom who in response to Hurricane Irene, founded Mahwah Elves, a volunteer organization aimed at assisting those affected by natural disaster, and coordinated clean-up efforts to help the citizens of Mahwah.
The show's premise is close to host Steve Watson's heart, as his hometown of Cleveland, Tenn., was hit by a tornado earlier this year. Watson raised more than $400,000 to help the town rebuild. The finalist who receives the most votes will be named Viewer Favorite, and The Weather Channel will donate $1 per vote (up to $5,000) to that finalist's charity of choice.
About The Weather Channel Companies
The Weather Channel companies (TWCC) are made up of The Weather Channel® television network, The Weather Channel digital properties, and WSI. The Weather Channel is based in Atlanta and is seen in more than 100 million U.S. households. TWCC also operates Weatherscan®, a 24-hour all-local weather network; The Weather Channel Radio Network; and The Weather Channel HD. The most popular source of weather news and information, TWCC properties reach 60 million monthly Web consumers (weather.com and Desktop) and 32 million monthly mobile users (mobile Web and applications) and offers the second most popular mobile app on all smartphones. WSI, headquartered in Andover, MA, primarily provides business-to-business weather services, particularly for the media, aviation, marine and energy sectors. TWCC is owned by a consortium made up of NBC Universal and the private equity firms The Blackstone Group and Bain Capital. For more information, visit www.weather.com/press.