July 25, 2019 @ 12:00am

With Keeler, Channel 3000’s guidance, KWW/CF ‘Day of Warmth’ telethon raises $60,000+

Bruer, media company have long-lasting relationship

For more than two decades, Tom Keeler has seen the direct impact the Keep Wisconsin Warm/Cool Fund has made across the state. That’s why Keeler, the vice president and general manager at Morgan Murphy Media, has been devoted to making a change.

Since its foundation, the KWW/CF has been fortunate in counting on its close relationship with WISC-TV (Channel 3000). It’s used the partnership not only for fundraising purposes, but also to raise awareness to an unfortunate reality: Many people in Wisconsin must choose between eating or heating their home during the winter.


Volunteers at the ‘Day of Warmth’ telethon actively taking calls for donations for those most in need in Wisconsin.

“We have seen the need of helping those veterans and those who are underprivileged who have to choose between eating or heating; this is a big deal,” Keeler said. “We have been part of the (KWW/CF) family for a long time and we continue to be.”

KWW/CF Executive Director Tim Bruer said Keeler and Channel 3000 have been main contributors to the organization since it started. It’s happened in a variety of ways, he added.

“They have been beyond phenomenal through the decades,” Bruer said of the company. “They have really stepped up to the plate in good times and in bad. They have invested a great deal of their personal time; their staff and talent and they have been a key to the success of a number of special events we have had over the years.”

Day of Warmth a Success

This past winter, that connection was taken to new heights with a special telethon. The “Day of Warmth,” held February 21 and sponsored by Veridian Homes, saw overwhelming success. In just about two hours, hundreds of donors combined donate more than $60,000 to the KWW/CF.

“The support and faith from people like Tom and his team has been spectacular,” Bruer said. “In just a couple of weeks, both volunteers and supporters were mobilized seamlessly. With Tom’s leadership, his team went into action.”

The telethon was historically effective for the KWW/CF, with viewers coming to the aid of thousands of their fellow Wisconsinites. It’s that same support that helped the KWW/CF expand its reach to every zip code in the state within just a few years.

“We just had such unprecedented success,” Bruer said of the telethon. “The support and faith from people like Tom and his team is amazing. As a direct response of Channel 3’s advocacy for our mission purpose and support for our delivery of crisis assistance, we were able to raise over $1 million decades ago and go statewide with the fund.”

A “social responsibility” to help

Using a unique platform to bring attention to a crisis in the community is something Keeler said he’s been more than happy do. The KWW/CF is just one of many organizations the company supports, he said.

“As broadcasters, we certainly have a ton of responsibility to use the power of our signal to connect a need of the community with our viewers and the residents of Madison,” Keeler said.

“We take our social responsibility very seriously and we’re selective on the types of causes that we lend our support to.”

Every quarter, Channel 3000’s editorial board holds a meeting tohttps://kwwf.org/sites/kwwf.org/assets/images/Summer-Newsletter/telethon1.jpg determine the charitable needs of the community and works to try and help in any way possible. It was a no-brainer to offer support to Bruer and the KWW/CF.

“The thing in broadcasting and media and news is that we can mobilize the community around a host of community causes,” Keeler said. “We can do things like fill the food shelves overnight for the food bank. We can get school supplies and things for kids going back to school. We can raise donations for Keep Wisconsin Warm.”

While a formal decision is yet to be made on a second iteration of the telethon this winter, Keeler said he’s been pleased to see Bruer’s energy and enthusiasm for what he called a “remarkable cause.”

“Tim’s work at ESI and the Keep Wisconsin Warm/Cool Fund fits our local community and surrounding area very well,” he said. “We’re very proud of that and we like to see the tangible results. Tim has a passion, he’s a champion for those impacted.”

Keeler said that building a strong relationship with the organization through more than 20 years has been a phenomenal experience. “It’s a partnership we’ve been doing for a long while and it’s a partnership that we feel gratified about and it’s a partnership that we plan to continue,” Keeler said.

It’s that same reasoning that helped the KWW/CF’s Heat for Heroes campaign get off the ground. Since it launched in 2013, Keeler and Morgan Murphy’s reach has helped the campaign offer life-changing assistance to thousands of military veterans who are struggling to get by.

“Much of the success we have had has been driven by the active involvement and support the company has provided,” Bruer said of Morgan Murphy. “Tom and WISC-TV were the first to come forward with their support for our Heat and Housing for Heroes in Crisis campaign.

“This all would likely not be where it is without their support. It’s so much more than one could ever expect in terms of their support for making things as effective and successful as they have been.”  



KWW/CF Chief Spokesperson Timothy Bruer (standing on left) with ESI Energy Program/Human Resources Support Manager Bev Shook (standing on right) and volunteers before the start of the telethon.


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