November 30. 2012 9:00AM - Last modified: November 30. 2012 9:35AM

WISN 12 phone bank benefits hurricane relief and local food drive

WISN 12 raised more than $187,000 to benefit Hurricane Sandy relief efforts and the Hunger Task Force’s Food for Families holiday campaign thanks to contributions from viewers in southeastern Wisconsin.

The media station hosted phone banks throughout November in support of both organizations. The phone banks were open during “WISN 12 News This Morning” with anchor Portia Young, anchor Marianne Lyles and meteorologist Sally Severson as well as during afternoon programming with meteorologist Mark Baden and anchors Toya Washington, Jason Newton, Craig McKee and Kathy Mykleby.

The station collected nearly $126,000 for the American Red Cross of southeastern Wisconsin’s hurricane relief efforts and almost $62,000 for the Hunger Task Force’s annual food drive.

The WISN 12 newsroom recognized a need for the food bank while covering the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, according to WISN TV President and General Manager Jan Wade. Anchors also recognized the need to support the local community with their philanthropic efforts.

“There is a very real need here in our own backyard right now,” Wade said. “You cannot be in the news business and not know that. People and children are going hungry. Some are without shelter, too. That really speaks to our employees, who want to do their part to help.”

WISN 12 relied on community volunteers to staff the phones during the phone bank.

“It takes a team effort starting with WISN 12 leadership, on-air personalities, the folks behind the scenes, phone bank volunteers and so many more to produce a multi-evening telethon,” said Patty Flowers, chief executive offer at the American Red Cross of southeastern Wisconsin. “Each financial gift brought food, water, emotional support and the knowledge that the next day would be a little brighter thanks to the generosity of WISN 12’s viewers.”