Laura Desmond is a consultant for Towards Employment and attended the Chance to Advance event in June 2023. She purchased a gift for her family that was priceless. Pictured in the center is Jack Desmond and his family along with Laura Caso, member of the WKYC anchor team.
This summer, a WKYC Cleveland tour exceeded every expectation, thanks to Micki Byrnes, President, and General Manager. Micki donated a private tour of WKYC for the Towards Employment auction and Laura, Jack and the Desmond family enjoyed a true “red-carpet experience.”
Laura shared their story:
"After winning this auction item, I knew that I would invite my son Jack, born four months early who has been blind since birth. Jack was an announcer for the Shaker Heights High and Shaker Youth All-Star Baseball teams and was so hopeful he would get to meet one of his heroes, Jim Donovan.
I also was inspired to make it a birthday experience for my dad and mom, John and Margi, who enjoy everything that supports their oldest grandchild, Jack. It seemed like a great gift to give to my parents who always say they are already blessed with everything they would ever want.
Micki started the tour by taking us through the newsroom to meet our celebrity newscasters and very important production team members. We were in awe of meeting in person those we watch often, what an amazing team of people!
Next, we toured the studio and popped in to watch the end of the 4 o’clock news. We even got to chat and take a picture with Laura Caso who was so warm and friendly. As we toured the control room, we got a great sense of how complex it is to produce each segment and intersperse them with live commentary.
To our great surprise, Jim Donovan himself sought Jack out to say hello. Of course, Jack did his best impression of Jim on a few exciting scoring calls, so we all had a good laugh together. He is a local treasure. Then, following the tour, Micki hosted us in her office for wine, cheese and great conversation.
We are thankful for Russ, Laura, Monica, Jim, Betsy, Christi, Matt, Lynna, and Isabel plus Julie, and everyone behind the scenes, for taking us “behind the scenes” in such a special way. A special shout-out to Micki Byrnes for not only arranging the tour, but for all she does for Cleveland and for this world-class station. I was proud to tell everyone that we were there because of Towards Employment, supporting all they do for Clevelanders to have a chance to advance in their careers."