BY DAMIAN BIRKEL
For 32 years he appeared at your dinner table every night, and then was back at 11 pm as you headed off to bed. You trusted his honesty, integrity, and the information he shared with you in both good times and bad. His former boss put it best, “We have all benefited from his mentoring and journalistic integrity, but more importantly, we have witnessed first-hand a humble man who always shows compassion to his co-workers, family, and his community. Cameron is a class act, and we’ve been blessed to have him,” remembers Lisa Fulk, WXII News Director.
Cameron Kent started his television career at WXII following his graduation from Wake Forest University in 1979. He began as a beat reporter, moving to Sports Anchor and was the main News Anchor for the last 22 years of his career. He retired in December 2016, after 32 years at the station. In 2017, he was inducted into the N.C. Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
Nominated for 14 Emmy Awards, including three times as best news writer, Cameron won an Emmy for his reporting on the Pentagon after 9/11. He’s also won numerous awards from the Associated Press and United Press International for both news reporting and sportscasting.
Cameron has been the emcee or keynote speaker at over 3,000 charity events, lending his time to organizations such as the March of Dimes, M-S Society, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, The Ronald McDonald House, SECU family house, CROP Hunger Walk, Second Harvest Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, Crisis Control, Goodwill, United Way, Boy Scouts, The First Tee, and the Forsyth Prison Ministry, to name just a few.
In 2012 he was presented with the N.C. Governor’s Volunteer Service Award, in recognition of his “Ornament Project” for Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County. Over the course of 11 years, Cameron handcrafted over 7,000 Christmas ornaments that were sold through Habitat and raised over $150,000, enough to build three homes for deserving families. He’s also served on Habitat’s Board of Directors and worked on building over 50 Habitat homes.
For 23 years, Cameron has served as Honorary Chairman for Samaritan Ministries Penny Campaign. As a community servant leader, he helped raise over $1.4 million dollars that fund the Samaritan soup kitchen, the homeless shelter, and ongoing rehabilitation programs. Cameron was honored as a “Local Hero” by the Wake Forest Athletic Department for his work there.
For a full listing of his accomplishments, see: https://www.wxii12.com/article/longtime-anchor-cameron-kent-retires-from-wxii-news-12/8495605
“Cameron’s dedication to community is second to none,” said WXII President and General Manager Michelle Butt. “The countless hours spent raising money for the homeless and the hungry; his determination to tell the stories of our greatest generation; his efforts to improve the lives of all our veterans. That is the legacy Cameron leaves here at WXII 12 and across the Piedmont.”
He’s also an author, having published five novels. The Sea is Silent, was selected for the Blue Ridge Community Read in 2019. Movies he’s written have aired on NBC, HBO, The Lifetime Channel, and at the American Film Institute. He’s also written a Christmas musical entitled Welcome to Virginia, which has been performed at several local theatres.
The Rotary Club of Western Forsyth will be honoring Cameron Kent with the Truliant Volunteer of the Year Award at the Cameron Kent Comedy Roast charity event on September 21st, 2022, at the Benton Convention Center. Comedians Jimmie Walker and Alonzo Bodden, along with Cameron’s friends from WXII, will be roasting him during the dinner. For more information, contact Gene Blackwelder at (336) 971-8488 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Damian Birkel is a member of the Rotary Club of Western Forsyth, a HarperCollins Leadership Author and Founder of Professionals in Transition®, which is one of America’s oldest non-profits dealing exclusively with helping people find work, and he is celebrating 30 years of service to our community.
12 Things You Didn’t Know About Cameron Kent:
- His favorite song of all time is Layla by “Derek and the Dominoes,” and “The Beatles” and “Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers” are his favorite groups.
- The favorite story he ever did was about the Pentagon after 9/11, and how his parents met there in the early 1950s.
- He reads up to 15 books a year of all genres, but makes sure at least two “classics” are included.
- A highlight of Cameron’s career was a one-on-one interview with President Obama at the White House.
- He used to work for comedian Jimmie Walker of “Good Times” fame and is still one of his very close friends.
- Cameron is an ordained Elder in the Presbyterian Church.
- Sushi and liver are the only two foods he won’t eat.
- The most exciting (and dangerous) story that he ever covered was the uprising in Tienanmen Square in Beijing in the spring of 1989.
- Believe it or not, Cameron once ran with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. Although he loved every second, it was considerably more dangerous than he thought it would be!
- He was an “extra” on two episodes of Cheers.
- Cameron is an Eagle Scout, as is his son, and his daughter earned her Gold Award in Girl Scouts.
- He has visited 36 foreign countries and plans to see all 50 states.
You can see Cameron’s full list of things you didn’t know at: https://www.wxii12.com/article/slideshow-cameron-kent-retires-from-wxii-12-news/8496112
Photo courtesy of WXII