Think Toys for Tots on Black Friday

We try not to get too preachy here at The Tales, but we’d like you to consider purchasing just one extra toy when you’re doing your Black Friday shopping.  Then swing on by WDAZ-TV at 2220 South Washington Street in Grand Forks and drop off your unwrapped toy.

People, the truck is a 26 footer.  It’s three times larger than last year’s truck.  We need help!

Toys for Tots

WDAZ-TV and Whalen’s Moving and Storage have once again joined forces to help the Toys For Tots program! Bring a new, unwrapped toy to the truck during the next two weeks and help a child who might otherwise go without this Christmas Season!

This is our second year being involved in the program, and if last year is any indication, it’s going to be huge.  Whalen’s has loaned us a truck that is three times larger than last year.

And we intend to fill it.  With your help!

A Final Thought on Tots…and Toys

From L to R: Charley Johnson, Molly Thorvilson, Terry Dullum and Dave Whalen.

What started out as an idea to do something nice for someone at Christmas time has turned out to be one of the bigger WDAZ promotional pushes in recent memory.  We hastily devised a “Toys for Tots” campaign in which viewers were asked to donate a new toy for children and families that may otherwise go without.

Well, viewers answered.  Resoundingly and with passion.  Most brought more than one gift, and many brought ten or twenty or thirty.  One man brought in nearly 200 Match Box Cars.  Think about that.  Each one was in its own, unopened box.  His name was Marv and he donated his entire collection.

In just six days our viewers filled a moving truck from our new best friends Whalen Moving and Storage.  A special thanks to Dave Whalen and his great crew for joining us without hesitation in this operation.

When all was said and done, the very fine people at Toys for Tots told us that the truck load of gifts from WDAZ was the single biggest donation this year.  Imagine what we could all accomplish with a little more planning for next year.  I mentioned to Dave Whalen that we should try fill a semi-trailer next year.  Without hesitating he said, “Let’s do it.”

I know I shouldn’t be surprised at how nice people are in this part of the world, but somehow their generosity caught me off guard.  I liked that.

Toys for Tots: WDAZ

WDAZ (L), Whalen's Truck (R)

It’s always fun to be part of a “good cause,” so in the effort to make Christmas a little more merry for area kids we at WDAZ decided to use our promotional clout to help the Toys for Tots efforts.  We’ve teamed with Whalen’s Moving and Storage (they provided the truck) to ask for donations of new, unwrapped toys for area children.  You can drop off your gift at WDAZ-TV located at 2220 South Washington Street in Grand Forks between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. between today and next Tuesday.

WDAZ anchors Molly Thorvilson, Charley Johnson, Pat Sweeney and Terry Dullum preparing for our Toys for Tots promotional spot.

Raise Up Minot

Here at WDAZ-TV in Grand Forks we are excited to announce our participation in an exciting project to raise donations for relief efforts in the Minot area due to flooding.  Grand Forks Airport Director Patrick Dame came up with the idea for Raise Up Minot. Patrick lived in Minot for three years before moving to Grand Forks with his wife Jen, who used to be part of the news team here at WDAZ.  It sounded like such a good idea to help the people of the Souris Valley region that we asked if we could jump on board.

To check out the list of participating businesses in which to drop off donations and to see a list of the types of things to donate, go to or check out our WDAZ Facebook page.

I hope we can make a difference.  It’s the least we can do.

Well Hello…Molly

Sadly, my new job as WDAZ-TV News Director has taken away some of the time devoted to my other job at the offices of The Tales.  And with the departure to the East Coast of TV’s Cassie Walder, a large portion of that time has been devoted to finding her replacement.  I’m not sure of Cassie’s shoe size, but in a figurative sense, they were quite large to fill.  And time consuming.  But we wanted to get it right.

Well, the search has ended.  And I think we did a pretty good job.  Our new weekday 6 and 10 Co-Anchor is Molly Thorvilson.  Molly is from Plymouth, Minnesota, on the Twin Cities’ northwest edge.  She’s been working in southern Iowa and went to college at the University of Iowa.  She brings a ton of talent and enthusiasm to our newsroom and her pairing with veteran newsman Charley Johnson is very exciting.

Charley Johnson and Molly Thorvilson

Molly’s first day on the air is Monday, June 20th.  We hope you watch.


Friday Photo


From L to R: Brady Mallory, Terry Dullum, Charley Johnson.

A strange thing happened Monday in the WDAZ newsroom.  And that’s a very bold statement because most days have some strange occurrence at a television station.

It was early in the afternoon when I noticed that our two veteran news anchors were wearing fairly similar green shirts.  As I arose from my office to give them grief, relative newcomer Brady Mallory happened upon the scene wearing…you guessed it…a shirt from the same shade of green family.

Not wanting to miss an opportunity for a blog I took a picture with my BlackBerry (you know, since I can’t make or receive any phone calls with it.  The switch from Alltel to AT&T has been so annoying and aggravating…but I digress.)

So there you have it.  Three guys wearing very similar colored shirts.  And they swear they didn’t call or text each other.  I have my doubts.  I think they were making some kind of statement.

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