WNED-TV has completed production on a new "Making a Difference" television special. This year's program features nine exemplary individuals who work year-round to create change and make a positive impact in their communities.
"Making a Difference" was created in 2014 as a spotlight on the good works of unsung heroes in Western New York who served their communities in various ways.
Hundreds of nominations are submitted to the station with detailed information about each candidate and examples of their selfless work around the area. These applications are carefully reviewed and voted on by a committee that is comprised of WNED | WBFO production staff, board members and community advisers. The selection process takes several weeks and is often quite rigorous.
"There are so many worthy individuals doing phenomenal work in our region. It is extremely difficult to select only nine people for the television program," said the program's senior producer, Lynne Bader. "We have a fantastic committee, but we realize that we only touch the tip of the iceberg with so many committed individuals and important organizations to choose from each year."
New program honorees include:
•Kwentin Foster (9-year-old creator of Kwentin's Blankets for Sick Kids on Facebook)
•Hillary Ruchlin (founder of The Cancer Wellness Center of Western New York)
•Andrew Giarrizzo (modern-day Johnny Appleseed; host of tree-planting events and youth educator)
•Christine Dwyer and Robin Bishop (founders of Danceability Inc.)
•Joe DeMarco (creator of WINGS - Flights of Hope)
•Diann Holt (founder of the Durham Central City Baby Café)
•Jennifer Gernatt (president of Gowanda Boosters)
•Amy Betros (creator of St. Luke's Mission of Mercy)
"I am especially taken with the honorees this year, not only because of their extraordinary volunteer work, but also the personal struggles that inspired their dedication to each cause," said WNED | WBFO President and CEO Don Boswell. "We are honored to present these stories."
In addition to the television program, WNED | WBFO has expanded the reach of this program to radio. Over the next few weeks, WBFO-FM 88.7 will air companion radio pieces about each honoree.
"Making a Difference" premieres on WNED-TV on Wednesday, Feb. 3 (9 p.m.), and repeats several times in February. Companion pieces on WBFO-FM 88.7 air throughout February.
"Making a Difference" is funded in part by First Niagara Foundation and Rich Products. With additional support from Univera Healthcare and the members of WNED | WBFO.
Through WNED-TV, ThinkBright and Well/WORLD, Classical 94.5 WNED and WBFO-FM 88.7, member-supported WNED ǀ WBFO Buffalo-Toronto provides high-quality programming and services to local, regional and national audiences that enlighten, inspire, entertain and educate Western New York and Southern Ontario communities. Additional information about WNED ǀ WBFO can be found at wned.org.