NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Nexstar Broadcasting Group, the parent company of News 8, was founded 26 years ago Friday. In recognition, every Nexstar station around the country gives back to their community every June for Founder’s Day of Caring.
This year, News 8 is volunteering at the ‘r kids Family Center in New Haven. The center helps reunite families or create new ones through fostering and adoption. Two years of building an addition took a toll on the outside of the center.
Founder’s Day marks the start of News 8’s parent company, Nexstar, back in 1996. It began operating just one TV station and has grown significantly.
“The reason we celebrate our birthday is it’s the biggest media company in the country, and our mission and our focus is to serve the local community,” said News 8’s Vice President and General Manager Rich Graziano.
We do that by helping out a worthy organization in the community. The ‘r kids Family Center helps families going through problems to stay together as much as possible, by giving them a nice place to go.
“Founder’s Day is just a great opportunity to come out and give back to the community we serve every day,” explained Stephen Donnarummo, News 8’s creative services director. “At ‘r kids today, they’ve done a lot of work on this building, and what they really need is some landscaping and that is kind of within our abilities at News 8.”
“Supervised visitation and reunification services so that children who are residing in/out of home care, be it foster care, kinship care, pre-adoptive families, can visit with their birth families,” explained ‘r kids co-founder and executive director, Randi Rubin Rodriguez.
The ‘r kids Family Center reunifies around 90% of those families, but sometimes, kids do need to go to new homes.
News 8 chose ‘r kids because of Tom Dudchik, the host of Capitol Report. He lost his two sons Robert and Anthony in a car crash in April. Tom and his wife, Nora, adopted the brothers, and they want to raise awareness about the importance of helping children.
“Tom and Nora wanted to do something great, turn something bad into something great, so our aim is to simply raise awareness around fostering,” Graziano said. “Increasing parents to take children into their homes, children that are in need.”
Helping kids is what this ‘r kids is all about. Now, it will be an even nicer place to visit, with new landscaping, picnic tables, a bike rack, and the addition of a street sign calling the entrance area Dudchik Way.