MORAINE, Ohio (WDTN) – In celebration of our 70th anniversary this week, 2 NEWS has always had you, the viewer, in mind. You’ve helped us with our many campaigns, whether its collecting coats or canned goods.

Former Storm Team 2 Chief Meteorologist Carl Nichols remembers WDTN’s Community Service Director returning from a meeting at a station in Milwaukee 35 years ago. She came back with some inspiration.

“Being a promotions person as she was, she said, ‘It would sound great if you said Carl’s Coats for Kids,’ and I said, ‘Yeah, that’s fine,’” Nichols says.

And with that, a long-lasting initiative was born.

In 1984, with Capitol Cleaners and Goodwill on board, it was our chance to give back.

“So they ask Sharon, ‘How many coats do you think you’ll get your first year?’ And Sharon said, ‘Well, the station in Milwaukee got 3,000, they’re a lot larger, so I’m thinking maybe 1,000 this year,” says Nichols.

Carl quickly learned that they had underestimated the giving spirit in the Miami Valley.

He goes on, “I came to work down Stroop, and there’s main capitol there. I looked over, and it was on Friday, and you could not see in the lobby except for a strip right up to the counter where people could walk. That first year, we got 25,000 coats.”

“The reason you get it is because of the people of the Miami Valley,” Carl says. “We’re such a giving community that something like that, and Food for Friends, people want to contribute and join in.”

Now in its 37th year, WDTN’s Food for Friends campaign is still going strong, and in many years, providing roughly 40,000 pounds of food to the Foodbank.

“You guys have the best team, so no wonder you’re celebrating 70 years of being in this business in Dayton. You guys are so welcoming, and an amazing group to work with,” says Lee Lauren Truesdale, Development Director with the Dayton Foodbank. “Any time we have a need here at the Foodbank, we’re calling you guys, and you’re reaching out and you’re coming to cover information and things we’re sending out as well, even beyond the campaign, so for that we’re really grateful.”

“The other channels, they may have their own thing going on, but everybody associates Coats for Kids and Food for Friends with Channel 2,” Nichols adds.

Grab the FREE WDTN News App for iPhone or Android. Stay up to date with all the local news, weather and sports as well as live newscasts and events as they happen.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for all the latest news, weather and sports.