WRAL-TV Anchor/Reporter Ken Smith was involved in the Special Olympics well before he came to WRAL-TV and brought that commitment to the station. He has served several terms on the Special Olympics of North Carolina (SONC) board over the past decade and is currently serving.
Keith Fishburne, President & CEO of SONC gave this insight when describing Ken’s affiliation: “Ken’s role on the board is extraordinary as he has provided great insight on topics about program initiatives we have carried out such as a special project in activating Special Olympics on military bases in North Carolina as well as an initiative in which we have a sister/peer relationship to help strengthen Special Olympics in the U.S. Virgin Islands [Ken’s home country].”
Mr. Fishburne went on to say, “Ken has been the emcee of the Special Olympics NC Summer Games opening ceremonies for at least the past decade and brings a level of energy and enthusiasm to that role that is unmatched. Special Olympics athletes and their supporters from all over the state who attend our annual Summer Games in Raleigh each May have come to know and love Ken for his wonderful devotion to making our Summer Games opening ceremonies one of the best in the country!”
Ken was the driving force that encouraged WRAL-TV and FOX 50 to get involved in the SONC fundraiser called “Over The Edge” whereby participants who raise more than $1000 repel from a 30-story building in the downtown Raleigh complex. He was the first journalist to lead by example some five years ago. Ken has recruited some of his co-workers to participate every year since. The publicity that this one event and a similar one in Charlotte have raised $1 million over the past five years.
Ken was recently awarded the SONC President’s Award for his many years of support and service to Special Olympics at its July awards banquet. Upon being presented the award, Ken shared the following: “I was humbled by the recognition because so many people do so much for SONC. Being on the Board of Directors and working with Special Olympics Athletes are extremely rewarding for me. I always come away rejuvenated and inspired.”
Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Clarence Williams for this capcom story & for these capcom photos.