June 13, 2011

Roker at Alaska Native Heritage Center

'Today' show broadcast from Anchorage good news for teens

WEATHER:  Segment hands donations to AK Pride organization.

By Mike Dunham
Most of Alaska was no doubt asleep at 3 a.m. Monday, but the rest of the country--or at least those watching NBC's "Today" show--was waking up to weatherman Al Roker broadcasting from the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage.

Anchorage was the first stop in Roker's 10th annual "Lend a Hand Today" road trip. By the end of this week he is planning to dispense more than $9 million in cash, goods and services during his segments of the show in five cities, including Las Vegas, Houston, Birmingham, Ala., and Charleston, W.Va.

The Anchorage event was unique in a couple of ways, Roker told the Daily News. "It's the farthest west we've been, the first time we've broadcast outside the contiguous 48 states." Also, "it's our biggest day ever. We're giving away $1.9 million in donations today."

The recipient of Roker's charity largess was AK Pride, a teen-oriented group founded by former Arizona Cardinal defensive tackle Mao Tosi.
Comment:  For more on Native philanthropy, see ZZ Top Plays for Native Charity and San Manuel Donates to Japan.

Below:  "Al Roker rides off in the sled of 2011 Iditarod Champion John Baker after filming the Today Show's 'Lend a Hand' series live from the Alaska Native Heritage Center June 13, 2011."

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