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Kokomo Tribune (Newspaper) - December 5, 1994, Kokomo, Indiana Kokomo Ind KOKOMO lTRIBUNE Irt Pounded itso Monday I Dec 50 cents At a record pace you cared Related stories We Care giving results in heavy bid ding Pages A2 and A3 Community generosity brings in to help areas needy By JULIE McCLURE Tribune local area editor WWKIs Dick Bronson and Jan Buechler had tears running down their faces so it was up to Charlie Cropper to wrap up the We Care telethon by announcing the record signoff total 6 But Kokomo wasnt quite done with We Care yet A person who wished to remain anonymous called in to donate bringing the total to an even as the credits rolled I say the same thing every Bronson said as he stood among the vol unteers after the signoff Its amazing Its another record year and were not done Pausing to reflect for a moment the weariness apparent in his face he added I dont know if it could happen anywhere else but it can happen in Last years signoff total was The 1993 grand total was also a record 1994s total will be announced following a cleanup auc tion next Sunday and final accounting for We Care store and otner items Cropper his voice still shaking slightly about five minutes after the end of the telethon joked about his role as the guy who must talk when the others cant at Every year Ive had to do Cropper deadpanned about maintaining composure to give the total He Bronson always puts this on me hes just a big pussycat darn him anyway I dont know whether to smack Bronson or kiss The emotion of the end of the We Care telethon does get to Cropper too Every once in a while it gets to he said When Junior Zimmerman and Bill Fortune are on the phone they always get to Zimmer man and Fortune bid on the Hope doll with Zim merman repeating his bid of 1993 to take the doll home for a second year Buechler We Cares director was smiling through her tears as she hugged the 100 or so vol unteers who continued to work as the 47hour telethon signed off Thanks for your she said over and over For the volunteers the marathon which ended at 5 Sunday was a mix of an emotional roller coaster and a family reunion At Sun day volunteer Kent Evans looked up from his bid board as the final lot was being sold and asked Cant we go another hour Were just get ting fired up in The Sunday bidding could only be termed fast and furious with 12 operators maintaining their composure as bids rained upon them The white bid slips were flying to the anchor desk and because of the pace the handwriting occasionally was difficult to read But there was no time to slow down The enthusiasm of the bidders was perhaps best reflected by Warren Pearce owner of War rens Auto Parts in Kokomo For three years he has been trying to buy the We Care sign which is shown throughout the telethon behind Cropper and Bronson This year Pearce was not to be denied He refused to allow the We Care volunteer to hang up the phone between his bids to make sure he could stay in touch with the phone banks He was the successful bidder at I think its important to give back to the com he said Its not the sign Its the princi ple behind Jon Langley one of the volunteers who stayed the entire 47 hours stood along the wall watch ing the hugs and celebration after the telethon closed This is he said I Ipve every minute of it For awhile I didnt think wed make it I cant believe Buechler then walked up to him and gave him a hug Thank you big she said Bronson walked back to his office but turned before making it past the computers near the tele vision set Good job he said WWKI We Care founder Dick Bronson wipes away a tear at the end of the telethon as We Care director Jan Boechler looks on Hope returns to Zimmerman family Tribune photos by Clint Keller By JULIE McCLURE Tribune local area editor For broadcasters dead air is a scary con cept And for the WWKI We Care crew is was not only scary it was a matter of lack of air When the Hope doll was offered for auction Sunday night at the end of the We Care telethon everyone was holding their breath The doll is traditionally the final item auc tioned and received a bid from Junior Zimmerman who called in before We Cares Dick Bronson officially opened the bidding And then for a few moments there was silence Is something wrong with the tele phones Bronson asked followed by Zim merman saying Ill have to up my own Telephones for bidders on Hope had been moved to the anchor desk in front of Bronson and Charlie Cropper to give the Telecable viewing audience an opportunity to actually listen to the bids But for those moments there was only one bid It was as though the We Care crew was willing the phone to ring and when it did there were screams from the We Care phone banks before Bronson picked it up Although the caller wanted to remain anonymous Bronson said immediately I think 1 recognize this Noting that he had been on a cruise the anonymous caller said he had planned to get back to Kokomo because he didnt want Junior to buy Hope The anonymous caller then bid Zimmerman immediately countered at and Bronson inadvertantly asked what Bill Fortune wanted to do I thought I was supposed to be anony Fortune said unable to keep a bit of amusement out of his voice And then pausing for a moment Fortune added Im going to let him Zimmerman have it this year hes a good man to raise that referring to Hope If I hadnt lost so much money at the casinos I might have gone Cropper then announced Zimmerman would have Hope for another year Youre a sweetheart and we love you very Cropper told Zimmerman A while later Zimmerman arrived at the We Care studios to pick up Hope and return her to his wife Carolyn who has grown attached to the symbol of We Cares giving spirit Ill take good care of Zimmerman said to We Care director Jan Buechler who was cradling Hope surrounded by members of the Zimmerman family Zimmerman said the doll will return to her display case at Bullseye Boats Guns It was a little different this Zimmer man admitted saying he was a little more nervous about the 1994 bidding for Hope Its a good thing the casinos werent good to he joked adding he would have gone to which matches last years win ning bid as the bid regardless of what For tune did And he had kind words for For tune who was the successful bidder for Hope two years ago and last year gave anyway and let Zimmerman win the doll Junior Zimmerman picks up the Hope Doll from Jan Buechler Sunday night Inside todays Tribune Local The Kokomo Tribune begins a new weekly column on Russi aville Page A2 Sports Colts cruise Indiana heads to soccers Final Pour Page Business Classified Local Vol 144 No 93 Siskel Ebert and Gingrich Gives Boys Town1 thumbsup alleges White House dope usage WASHINGTON AP The Clinton administration today denounced as untrue and reck less an assertion by House Speakertobe Newt Gingrich that up to onefourth of the White House staff used illegal drugs in recent years Gingrich made the claim on Sunday on NBCs Meet the saying Its very clear that they had huge problems getting people through security clear The conservative Republican also defended his proposal for placing welfare children in orphanages and suggested that first lady Hillary Rod ham Clinton see the old movie Boys Town before discounting the idea White House spokeswoman Dee Dee Myers today denied Gingrichs alleGingrich gations on drug use saying that the White House had a stringent policy against drug use and adheres to random drug testing rules Myers said that if any employ ees tested positive for drugs they wouldnt be working at the White House any longer Its she said He offered no evidence to sup port his reckless charges He offered no facts he offered no Gingrich has said he would tone down nis bombastic rhetoric upon assuming the House leadership ii the GOPrun Congress that a venes in January but he was at 1 most provocative in the television appearance Gingrich cited a senior law enforcement official who told that in his judgment up to a quarter of the White House staff when they first came in had used drugs in the last four or five r Asked about his own use of marijuana as a youth Gingrich treated it lightheartedly saying it was a sign we were alive arufin graduate school in that On his plan to revive ages as an alternative to payments Gingrich said he ask Hillary Clinton to gd Blockbuster and rent the Mickey Rooney movie about Bow That 1938 film costar ring Spencer Tracy is the story of Father Edward Flanagan and the first Boys Town for troubled youth he founded in Omaha in 1917 A r H
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