Interlink volunteers presented "Signing off: The Final Broadcast" on August 30, 2023 at 7PM in Clarkston High School auditorium. About 100 attended the fundraising event as the live studio audience to see Anna Velasquez and Keith Havens, former KLEW-TV anchors.
For business reasons, Sinclair Broadcasting Group, owner of the local KLEW-TV in Lewiston, stopped doing a local newscast on June 19, 2023 and moved the news to their affiliate, KBOI in Boise. The cancellation of local news with local newscasters is viewed by many as a tragic loss to our local communities.
Mark Havens, Executive Director of Interlink (brother of Keith Havens) opened the event to explain that a simple farewell reception for Keith and Anna grew into the fun idea of a mock final newscast to entertain their fans and give back to the community by raising funds for the non-profit, Interlink. Interlink coordinates community volunteers to enable the elderly and disabled to live independently in their own homes. Services include volunteer in-town transportation to doctor appointments and other essential transport, grocery pick-up and delivery, at-home wheelchair ramps and in-home grab bar installations.
John Sullivan, board president of Interlink (retired president of American Insurance), served as the announcer and moderator to begin the mock broadcast and introduce Anna Velasquez and Keith Havens. Then, in their familiar news style, Anna and Keith took turns delivering funny fake stories that amused the audience and were rewarded with laughter after each story.
An example of the dozen fake news stories was Anna reporting that "a semi-truck carrying a load of thesauruses rolled over in an accident on US Highway 95. Witnesses were stunned, startled, aghast, taken aback, tupefied, confused, shocked, rattled, paralyzed, amazed, bewildered, flabbergasted, perplexed and gobsmacked!" Keith reported "Interlink has entered the Guinness Book of World Records for constructing the longest aluminum wheelchair ramp that at 1,000 feet circled a mobile home five times. The homeowner said it worked great except you get dizzy using it and need a fully charged electric wheelchair to make it into the home."
Following the mock broadcast, there was a candid on-stage interview with both Anna and Keith filled with interesting stories and unique perspectives gained over the years doing the news here. The audience was invited to stay after for a receiption to meet and chat with Anna and Keith personally while they enjoyed coffee or lemonade and cookies.
HOW TO VOLUNTEER OR DONATE TO INTERLINK! For more information on volunteer opportunities or to make a donation please call Interlink at (509)751-9143 or email email@example.com or stop by the Interlink office, 549-5th St, Suite E in Clarkston (the Valley Community Center). To learn more, click Interlink.
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American Insurance NW Inc. is an independent insurance agency with offices in Lewiston and Moscow, Idaho.