[Gracia Martore and Oliver Twist]
I ask you: What are the odds?
An estimated 200 volunteers descended on an elementary school in southeast Washington's predominantly poor, African-American community on Saturday as part of the annual Make a Difference Day of volunteering launched by Gannett's USA Weekend in 1992.
And of all those volunteers, the company's WUSA-TV chose one in particular to interview and quote -- extensively.
"On a crisp autumn day," correspondent Andrea McCarren says in her report, "at an inner-city school scarred by budget cuts and the passage of time, a transformation is underway. On this Make a Difference Day, Gannett CEO Gracia Martore is leading the charge."
Indeed, there was Martore, in a blue Make a Difference Day t-shirt that barely concealed her wireless mic pack, industriously stacking books and telling McCarren:
"Gannett's mission is to inspire the greater good in the 100-plus communities that we serve. In addition to providing news and information that is important to our readers and viewers in those communities, we feel compelled to make a difference in those communities."
Has Chief Marketing Officer Maryam Banikarim been re-reading Charles Dickens in her new, post-Robin Pence world?
My favorite part of the WUSA transcript are the quotes attributed to the beneficiaries of Martore's noblesse oblige. They're identified as follows: "a young boy," "a girl nearby," "another classmate," and "a little girl."
(I'll add: Please, sir, I want some more identification -- like that important white lady over there!)
That's Martore (center) in the frozen frame of the video:
Earlier: GCI's board of directors visits an Iowa workhouse. Plus: Martore directs another $15,000 in Gannett Foundation money to her alma mater.