Last night, members of the Discovery family gathered for the Discovery South Africa Upfront to present its upcoming slate of shows to clients and media in Johannesburg.
With performances from leading South African artists, appearances from Discovery talent, including TLC’s Randy Fenoli and Animal Planet’s Dave Salmoni and Kim Wolhuter, and a special magic show by Ben Hanlin (including an act that involved swallowing needles!), audiences previewed the next generation of Discovery programming.
Discovery South Africa live Tweeted most of the event, and you can check out a few photos from the event below, as well.
Discovery Talent at Upfron (L to R)t: Ben Hanlin, Kim Wolhuter, Dave Salmoni, Joel Lambert, Randy Fenoli
Buddy Valastro of TLC’s Cake Boss, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Discovery Communications President & CEO David Zaslav
New Jersey: Where only the strong survive.
We’ve all seen the phrase plastered on shirts and stuck on bumpers, but today we all learned the true definition of “Jersey Strong.”
As we began Day Two, with sore arms and bits fiberglass in our hair, excitement brewed – all of the volunteers (including me) were motivated by Day One’s progress and ready to see our families’ houses continue to return to being homes. While most of us began construction, some members of the Discovery Education team traveled to Sovereign Elementary School, just down the street from our work sites, to meet many of the children affected by the storm and share with them a preview of Discovery Channel’s upcoming series, North America (premiering this Sunday). The children were also treated to a visit from Animal Planet’s Dave Salmoni, who brought along North American animals, and Jersey boy, Buddy Valastro, who brought sweet treats from Carlos’ Bakery for the students and staff to enjoy.
When we broke for lunch today, “Discovery Impact” came to life. In a special ceremony opened by a Habitat for Humanity leader and our own David Zaslav, volunteers heard from Jersey natives about the deep value of their work. Buddy Valastro shared his own passion for restoring the state he calls home and then welcomed New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. The Governor recounted the deep devastation experienced when Superstorm Sandy hit his state and shared hope for the future, as well as genuine appreciation for the volunteers who have joined his mission to restore all New Jersey families to their homes.
Nearly impossible to believe, tomorrow is our final day on site. We’re all excited to see what we’ve accomplished in three days and to bring home the stories of strength and hope we have experienced along the way.
I’ve included below a few photo highlights from the day, as well as an incredible video from two dedicated Habitat for Humanity volunteers – a true dose of inspiration! For more images and stories from today, follow us on Twitter, Instagram (#ourimpact on both!) and Facebook.
Richard and Richard Jr. Shared Their Story with Discovery Communications President & CEO David Zaslav
Today marked Day One of Discovery Impact: Rebuilding Atlantic City, and we couldn’t have asked for anything more. The day began with an orientation with Habitat for Humanity Atlantic County, where we learned more about Superstorm Sandy’s devastation, making this experience even more meaningful for all of us. After orientation, we met our Habitat team leaders, and the hard work began.
Each team faced different challenges at their homes – my family’s home had a strong structure but required insulation and dry walls, while other teams were tasked with replacing floors or clearing homes. While most volunteers had never nailed more than picture frame, our Habitat leaders patiently taught us the ropes, and we all left today feeling a bit more confident with a hammer and drill in hand.
Our employees were joined by some enthusiastic personalities from our networks, including the guys from TLC’s Honey Do and Animal Planet’s Dave Salmoni.
As we rest up for tomorrow, we’re excited for all to come. We announced today that we’ll be visited by TLC’s Cake Boss, Buddy Valastro, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and we can’t wait to continue to connect with our families and make progress in their homes.
Take a look at a few of the photos from today below, as well as a video reflection from Jennifer, a Discovery volunteer on Team Elizabeth. Don’t forget to follow @DiscoveryComm on Twitter, DiscoveryComm on Instagram and #ourimpact on both for updates over the next few days!
Armchair adventurers can explore animals of all different kinds on tonight’s Frontier Earth Presented by Walmart on Animal Planet. Animal Planet’s zoologist, Dave Salmoni, is back, showcasing some of the world’s most elusive animals on tonight’s premiere, the first of a six-part series, at 8pm ET/PT. On Frontier Earth Presented by Walmart, Salmoni will bring us closer than ever to animals great and small, from the massive Komodo dragon to the miniscule killer ants of the Arizona Badlands.
The first full day of Discovery Impact: Rebuilding Alabama started off early and had our color-coded teams rolling up their sleeves and breaking a sweat from the start. Our employees and several familiar faces from our networks were welcomed with open arms by the Habitat for Humanity team in Birmingham as 125 employees worked on several build sites in Pleasant Grove and Jasper and got a chance to meet the families the were helping.
Governor Robert Bentley and Mayor Jerry Brasseale took time to visit one of the Pleasant Grove sites today, but they weren’t the only special guests. At least two sites have resident cats supervising the builds and raising spirits. The Duggar family from TLC‘s 19 Kids & Counting also brought much joy to the builds — from Jim Bob working on framing to the kids decorating flower pots that will be filled with fresh blooms and donated to Habitat homes in the area.
The team wrapped the night with a good southern dinner at Niki’s West (meat plus three sides finished with pie) and all are ready for another day of work. Check out more of the action from today below!
The Duggars, Reed & Tim from Storm Chasers and Animal Planet's Dave Salmoni All Are Volunteering
Ready to Go to Work
One of the "Befores"
Animal Planet's Dave Salmoni Breaks a Sweat
Taking Volunteering to New Heights
Storm Chasers' Reed Timmer and Tim Samaras Work to Raise Walls on a New Home