On Sunday, August 10, a group of ten St. Philippians staffed the pledge drive telephones during the KUAT-TV broadcast of “Return to Downton Abbey,” a retrospective of the first four seasons of this popular PBS Masterpiece Series and a preview of the fifth season, which begins on January 4. Most of the group wore St. Philip’s tee shirts. Furthermore, St. Philip’s logo appeared at the bottom of the screen each time the group was on camera. Volunteers were the Rev. Vicki Hesse, Halsey Taylor, Beth Brouillette, Tom Eiff, Melissa Gervais, Christopher Lidberg, Bill Sartor, Cameron Rau, Eric Rau, and Bob Kamilli.
Not only was it a great opportunity to introduce St. Philip’s to some of the public who may not know about us, but it was quite a learning experience for the volunteers. Each of the volunteers had a telephone and a laptop computer programmed with a script with precisely what to say and ask, and a multiple-screen form to take information. Not only was it tricky to cradle the telephone between one’s shoulder and ear as one typed on the laptop, but the extensive pledge information required essentially limited each volunteer just one call per pledge break. Nevertheless, the group managed to raise $12,500 for KUAT in 90 minutes.
It was also gratifying that a number of callers were St. Philippians, who apparently called because St. Philip’s members were taking the pledges.
The group is eagerly awaiting the next opportunity to staff the pledge phones. It was half-facetiously suggested that next time everyone dress in Edwardian attire.