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2015 Slumberland “Making A Difference” Award: Tears to Water

Slumberland "Making a Difference" Award
Slumberland “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.  

NATAS Logo_Upper MidwestTelevision & 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 2015 Upper Midwest Regional Emmy® Gala at the Radisson Blu Hotel at the Mall of America in Blooming, MN on October 3rd, 2015.

2015 Slumberland “Making A Difference” Award Recipient

Tears to Water WKBT-TV News 8 La Crosse, WIWKBT-TV News 8 La Crosse, WI

Tears to Water – WKBT-TV

WKBT-TV‘s intention when it set out to produce the one hour documentary ‘Tears to Water’ was to spotlight a local family’s efforts to help better the world. The station had no idea the storytelling would generate such an outpouring of people and funds wanting to further the cause.

‘Tears to Water’ follows the story of 17-year-old Jesse Parker who had a dream to provide clean water to villages in Africa. Heading into his senior year of high school his path was set for college and the Peace Corps. On a family vacation in 2009, Jesse lost his life in a car accident. Five years later, News 8 followed Jesse’s mother Jenny and group of local woman to Africa to see the dream of clean water become a reality.

Tears to Water from WKBT-News 8 on Vimeo.

Immediately after the WKBT-TV special aired, the outpouring of support for the Jesse Parker foundation came flowing in. Countless people wanted to donate money to make more wells a reality. Schools held fundraising drives, individuals sponsored an entire well in honor of a loved one and events were held that raised huge amounts of dollars all toward the cause.

Since the special has aired several more wells have been dug with many more are in the planning stages. It is with such pride that WKBT-TV can say thousands of lives are for the better because of the storytelling the staff was able to share.