Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

November 22, 2013

JACKIE DAVIS: Linda Pellegrino, resilient and brilliant

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — She walks into a room and brings the brilliance of her personality with her. The joy of life radiates from her smile, and every day, she brightens the televisions of countless thousands on “AM Buffalo” and “Local Proud,” both on WKBW-TV.

She is Linda Pelligrino, and this past Tuesday, she was the guest speaker at the annual inter club meeting, hosted by the Rotary Club of Lockport.

Each November, a large number of service clubs gather at Lockport Town and Country Club to share news updates about our activities and events in the local community and beyond. The service clubs that participate include Rotary, Lions, Zonta, Sunrise Optimists, Kiwanis, Barge Canal Optimists, Evening Optimists, Monday Night Cruise Optimists and the Exchange Club.

As president-elect of the Rotary Club, it is my duty to schedule programs and speakers for our weekly meetings. I must admit, I was a bit “star struck” when I called to invite Linda to be our guest speaker for the Inter Club Meeting. She answered her own phone just six minutes after signing off of “AM Buffalo.” Linda is truly one of the most gracious women I have ever met and she gladly accepted the invitation. We were very blessed to have her as our guest speaker.

Linda has interviewed countless personalities throughout her years at WKBW, including politicians, Hollywood celebrities, international experts, doctors and royalty. She is incredibly active in the surrounding community, serving on various boards and in numerous fundraising events, including the Hunter’s Hope Foundation and Variety Club Telethon. As a strong breast cancer survivor, Linda is also an inspirational leader, and encourages all women to get their annual mammograms. 

For her amazing work on WKBW, Linda was twice nominated for the New York State Emmy Awards, and on Sept. 28 of this year, she was inducted into the Buffalo Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

In her remarks at our meeting, Linda attributed the resilience of “AM Buffalo” to the incredible crew that works diligently together each day to produce an excellent show.

“I’m not the star of my show, you are,” she said. “I have become so enriched because of people like you.” People who serve are “integral to the fabric of our community,” she observed, adding, “I admire interviewing people doing the right thing, simply because it’s the right thing to do.”

Linda, who overcome both thyroid and breast cancer, shared that after she got sick, she saw the perseverance of people around her — healthcare workers, doctors, Hospice workers and more — and drew inspiration from their tenacity.

“I am able to emulate the strength of other around,” she said with warmth and sincerity. “I consider every day a gift.”

Linda went on to share her contact information and invite audience members to contact her if they have programs and events that they would like to have featured on her show. She stayed to take pictures and speak with individuals.

On “AM Buffalo” the next day, Linda gave a warm thanks to the people of Lockport, and showed the picture of us taken together. I am truly grateful for her kindness.

Jackie Davis is an inspirational vocalist, musician and speaker with over 20 years of television broadcast experience. Her column is published every other Friday. Contact her at jjd.22344@yahoo.com.