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Just For Kids    |    for Kids Only

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published on 02/06/2007

WTCI Kicks Off Mr. Rogers Sweater Drive


Mr. McFeely
WTCI, the community’s PBS station, invites children and their parents that grew up on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood to welcome Mr. McFeely, the Speedy Delivery man from the longtime PBS series, to Chattanooga. He, along with his pal Purple Panda, will be at Kids R Kids on Gunbarrel Road from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 10.

Mr. McFeely will bring some of his friends from the Land of Make Believe for local fans to meet. Cookies and punch will also be provided for those who attend. Admission is $3 per person.

Mr. McFeely is in town to help WTCI kick off its second annual Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Sweater Drive. Community members can drop contributions at WTCI, Walgreens, Kids R Kids on Gunbarrel Road, and AmSouth Bank branches in the tri-state area. Contributions should be placed in the specially marked boxes, donated by Container Services Corp. WTCI is located at 4411 Amnicola Highway behind the campus of Chattanooga State, and is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about drop-off points and times, log on to WTCI online at and or call ext. 3003.

The sweater drive honors the life and work of the late Fred Rogers, whose long-running PBS Kids program Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood continues to air on WTCI weekdays at 6 a.m. Mister Rogers' Neighborhood is the longest-running program on PBS, and one that is beloved by children, parents, and child-development professionals.

All of Fred Rogers’ sweaters were knitted by his mother. Each year she knitted a dozen sweaters, and at Christmas, she gave one to family and close friends. To help set the tone for a “comfortable” visit with his young viewers, Mister Rogers decided to put on a sweater and change into sneakers as a way to help children settle in for the first half-hour of the program. One of his sweaters is on display at the Smithsonian Institution.

The Sweater Drive is sponsored locally by Kids R Kids, AmSouth Bank, Walgreens, Container Service Corp, Chattanooga Marriott, Diversified Companies, EPB Electric Power, VEC Customer Share Fund and Sunny 92.3.

WTCI is a PBS station owned by the people of the Tennessee Valley. It exists through the direct financial support of the community. WTCI is an essential educational resource committed to providing a wide range of learning opportunities to all people.

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