Making A Difference Award News Recipients

2013 Slumberland “Making A Difference” Award

"Making a Difference" Award
“Making a Difference” Award

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Upper Midwest Chapter is proud to recognize excellence in video production and storytelling.  Our corporate partner, Slumberland, is all about making lives better.  To honor the spirit of both organizations, we present the Slumberland “Making a Difference” Award.  

Television & video has the power with one story to change one life.  That’s why many of us got into the industry.  This award honors the measurable changing of someone’s life or lives in our communities with one piece of video storytelling.  Nominations are accepted from the performing, creative, technical or administrative roles within the industry. Neither nominators nor nominees need to be members of NATAS.  This is a very special plaque award recipients will receive at the 2013 Upper Midwest Regional Emmy® Gala on September 28th, 2013.

2013 Slumberland “Making A Difference” Award Recipient


KBJR/KDLH-TV, WDIO-TV, KQDS-TV, WDSE/WRPT-TV, United Way-Northland Chapter

Click here to watch the 2013 Emmy® Gala Award Presentation

The Twin Ports Community experienced the greatest collective challenge in its history on June 20th, 2011.

Historic floods demolished roadways, submerged entire buildings and washed away the life’s work of many of our residents. It was evident that the Duluth television media community needed to respond not just with coverage, but with care, not just as observers of the event, but as an entity with resources and networks that could be mobilized to help our community pull together and begin to heal itself.


It was a monumental news event.  The management at KBJR/KDLH-TV immediately saw it as an event that transcended typical news coverage.  They partnered with the Northland Chapter of The United Way, and put out a call to their colleagues WDIO-TV, KQDS-TV, WDSE-TV.

Together, the media organizations pooled their talent to produce a Flood Relief Telethon, raising nearly $100,000 for the United Way Twin Ports Regional Long Term Flood Recovery Fund.

The goal was to collect money to address unmet needs after all other avenues had been exhausted. This money has since proven to be a critical source of help for uninsured individuals (as more than 90% of the flood victims were) who did not receive disaster assistance from FEMA, or qualify for loans.

The United way served as the fiscal host for the fund, coordinating a committee of leaders from area non-profits and faith-based organizations to oversee disbursement of the funds, and provided trained one-on-one case managers to assist homeowners.

The event was aired by all Duluth TV stations, but was conceived of, and organized by, staff members at KBJR/KDLH-TV.  They reached out to the Mayors in every Northland city impacted by the floods, as well as our state and federal lawmakers, many of whom appeared as guests on the telethon. We worked with Emergency Management personnel to tell the stories of individuals impacted by the floods, and convey the staggering extent of the need.

We serve a proud community, many of whom were not accustomed to asking for help. By providing both a mechanism through which donations could be collected, and information about how to access aid, we were able to bridge the gap between the agencies and individuals with the means to help, and the people who needed assistance.