HOLLA! Inc. was featured on WTVI PBS’s Carolina Impact for their efforts to change the community.
Alex Gaddy, activities director, reached out to WTVI to inform them of the mission at HOLLA! and its accomplishments and challenges.
“Once the station considered our story newsworthy, they contacted us to let us know they were interested in doing a story on the impact we are making on the community,” said Leon Gatewood, founder. “The process was intense, quite similar to writing a grant or hiring a consultant.”
The producer of the show visited the center to capture video footage for the episode. The process for filming included the WTVI crew being on site at the HOLLA! Center conducting interviews, capturing video footage of various activities at the center and surrounding community.
After the footage was taken, producers reached out for all the information Gatewood and others could give to develop the story. The staff sent pictures, news clips, videos and everything else they could.
All those connected to HOLLA! were “naturally, all excited, yet anxious,” according to Gatewood.
The feature focused on how HOLLA! is working to make a difference in the community through effectively forming meaningful partnerships with other organizations and the local school system. It also addressed how the organization has become a staple of the community drawing the attention of the governor’s office, the secretary of state and several major media outlets.
HOLLA! was featured for its tennis team, step team, mentoring program, summer camp, The HOLLA! Center, and other endeavors like bringing the Winston-Salem State University marching band to town, as well as Livingstone College’s Gospel Choir, marching band and step team.
“The HOLLA! Center is humbled by the number of people as far away as New York who have contacted us on how to get a HOLLA! Center in their communities,” Gatewood said. “The answer is not so simple, but a community that wants change and doesn’t mind working together is a requisite.”
HOLLA! has a lot of things in store for the upcoming months. HOLLA! Motivational Day at Anson High School is Feb. 20; The Lion King Jr. auditions at Anson Middle School will be in the near future; the HOLLA! 5K is May 11 in Morven; HOLLA! tennis team recruitment is ongoing; and the breakfast at HOLLA! is Tuesday through Saturday from 7-10 a.m.
PBS’ Carolina Impact acknowledges HOLLA! in their special for their community outreach efforts, including their recent Martin Luther King event where Morven natives Carl Ratliff and comedian Ampston Hews — Sherard Cohen — provided entertainment.