PINE BELT (WDAM) - WDAM-TV was awarded finalist recognition by the 2016 Celebration of Service to America Awards.
The NAB Education Foundation (NABEF) hosts the Celebration of Service to America Awards to honor the outstanding public service commitment of local television and radio broadcasters, according to the organization's website.
WDAM-TV entered two submissions to the awards. Both entries were one of the seven national finalists recognized in their prospective category.
In the Service to America Television category, WDAM-TV submitted their news coverage of the murders of fallen Hattiesburg police officers Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate.
WDAM worked tirelessly to provide information for the nation on these shootings. Both officer's funerals were aired live in the broadcasts, as well as streamed online. There was exclusive coverage of the officer's deaths throughout the entire month of May.
Shortly after the officers were laid to rest, WDAM worked in collaboration with Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree and The City of Hattiesburg to create funds in the officer's honor.
Two scholarship funds were set up in both the officer's names.
WDAM, teamed up with The First Bank, Petro Nissan, Toyota of Hattiesburg, Kim's No Bull in Laurel and The City of Hattiesburg. Community members were able to give online at WDAM.com, or at any of the locations listed above.
Thanks to the generosity of Pine Belt viewers, a total of $46,050 for each officer's family was raised.
The funds came from local donations as well as donations from across the country, coordinated by the Greater Pinebelt Community Foundation, The First, the City of Hattiesburg, Petro Nissan, Toyota of Hattiesburg, Kim's No Bull and WDAM-TV
The second entry was in the Service to Community Television category. WDAM-TV submitted their fundraising telethon effort called Hope, Help and Healing.
On December 23rd, 2014, a devastating tornado tore through Marion and Jones counties in South Mississippi, leaving the area devastated. Many people lost their homes and many lost all of their possessions. Sadly, five people lost their lives in the storm.
Thursday, January 7th, 2015, WDAM-TV spearheaded a state-wide telethon with the help of three other Raycom stations, WLOX, WLBT and WMC Action 5 News.
The 18 hour telethon resulted in $443,418.20 worth of donations. Those financial gifts were used to assist those affected by the storm.
Those funds helped the storm recovery group Columbia Strong buy 12 new homes for residents affected by the storm, repair 12 homes that were damaged, and helped rebuild 12 homes.
WDAM-TV is proud to serve the community. We strive everyday to serve our audience, hold leaders accountable, and advocate for our community.
We thank our loyal viewers, and will continue to be on your side.