Every year, dozens of KLST employees and volunteers work for weeks to put the
For Don Plachno of KLST’s Creative Services Department, this is his 22nd year working on the crew of a Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon. As floor manager for the live, local, KLST segments of the show at the Cactus Hotel, he's learned it requires a crew who knows the meaning of "unpredictable."
“Anything that goes wrong goes on the air, there's just nothing we can do about it but deal with it,” Plachno explained, after working for eight hours, and with more than five hours still to go. “And we try to deal with [mistakes] with humor -- hopefully [laughing].”
But along with the TV crew, volunteers help keep the show going. One of those volunteers, Tony McCreery has experienced first hand the help which MDA offers.
“I've been a patient of MDA for about 22 years,” McCreery told us during a break between local fundraising segments.
At age seven he was diagnosed with Charcot-Marie Tooth 5, a neuromuscular disease which has weakened his lower body, but not his drive and determination. He works full-time as a church pastor in Hermleigh, near Snyder. And he's served as a volunteer at the telethon in
He sits in a wheelchair provided by MDA. And he displays colorful leg braces, also provided by the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
“They're the ones that paid for the wheelchair. They're the ones that paid for the braces that are on my feet so that i can continue to walk and be able to walk.”
Those who serve on the telethon crew say the work is exhausting. But they also say it comes with its rewards.
“You know,” Plachno says as he loudly calls out the 30-second warning for another local segment.
“You can't help but feel proud of what you've done that day.”