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Annual Azalea Giveaway Brightens the Community

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RALEIGH — Nothing makes the environment more beautiful than flowers. Saturday, dozens of non-profit organizations got to pick up free azalea plants thanks to Capitol Broadcasting's Annual Azalea Celebration.

It is an annual event at the WRAL Transmitter site in Clayton.

Azalea plants by the dozens were given away to non-profit groups to help beautify the environment.

"I think this is wonderful. I'm going to have a lot of work to do today, however," laughed Ken Kukorowski, who was picking up plants for his organization.

The Annual Azalea Celebration is a tradition that began 13 years and 130,000 plants ago. For Capitol Broadcasting, it's been one way to give back to the community.

"It just makes me feel like we're actually making some progress, getting something out in the community and making a difference," said Gil Decker of Capitol Broadcasting's property management division.

The azaleas have made a difference at Longview School in Raleigh, which this year received the A.J. Fletcher Award and a $500 check for its emphasis on environmental education for students.

"When we go out in the springtime and all these flowers are blooming, they come back and they say, 'I remember when I planted that,' and that's something that a lot of kids don't get out of school," said teacher Paul Taperek.

The hope is that come springtime, the azaleas will not be the only thing growing -- environmental awareness will be, too.

This year 173 non-profit groups received a total of 10,000 plants.

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Laurie Clowers, Reporter
Jason Darwin, Web Editor

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