By Kerry Miller Share Del.icio.us
Most of us have known Leslie Wilcox from when she was the face of news for KGMB 9, although her friendly, familiar face is seen these days on KHON 2, co-anchoring on the week-day 5 p.m. newscast with Ron Mizutani.
Outside of work she’s keeping busy as the co-spokesperson for the “Ready to Learn” campaign and being a mom to her four children.
Ready to Learn raises funds to provide children from poverty and low-income situations with school supplies, like pencils, notebooks, crayons, glue and other classroom basics.
“I switched in 1992 (from KGMB to KHON) to begin the morning newscast at KHON,” says the lady who appeared on MidWeek’s cover in February 1988. “I loved the job, but hated the sleep deficit. Ron and I used to anchor the morning news together, now we’re at 5.”
The North Shore resident can tell it’s been quite a while since she graced MidWeek’s cover, because in 1988 she recalls, “my daughter then was just a few years old. Now she is a 20-year-old student at Windward Community College. I have four children who are full-grown.”
Two of Wilcox’s children live here in Hawaii and the other two reside in Seattle, Wash. The newswoman has also remarried since 1988, moving from Kailua to Waialua.
“As long as it ends in ‘lua’ I live there,” she jokes.
When she’s not at her newsdesk, chasing a story or spending time with family, Wilcox reaches out to local schoolkids through the “Ready to Learn” program, also headed up by Oceanic Time Warner Cable and Helping Hands Hawaii. She and Dave Vinton, manager of OC-16 Sports for Oceanic, are co-spokes-people for the campaign.
On June 3 and 4, the public can donate at locations island-wide.
Volunteers are placed from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at four major intersections, including Kamehameha Highway near Sam’s Club, two intersections near the Mililani Town Center and at Ala Moana Boulevard near Ala Moana Center. Drivers can place their money into the nets volunteers hold out to their cars. The goal is to raise $100,000.
“Every year we have children come into school not prepared for class. I’ve done stories about kids (who are) very traumatized,” Wilcox says. “Parents are stretching to cover rent, but there’s only so much to go around.”
Vinton says that as a representative of a locally formed company, “it’s a natural fit to want to give back.”
Both Vinton and Wilcox encourage people to attend another upcoming fundraising event on June 11. A family fun day is planned at the Mililani High School football field, complete with live entertainment by Na Leo, rides, food and more fun fair-type activities. Admission to the event is $2.
- Kerry Miller
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