WBIR has lost a dear friend and an important contributor to our news product.
Mimi Brody died Tuesday evening at Physicians Regional Medical Center. She was 68 years old.
Mimi made a difference in our broadcast history and in the lives of many children.
It was January 1980, when Mimi Brody called and told our Bill Williams she had a suggestion for our news content. She had seen a segment of a news broadcast in Atlanta that profiled adoptable children in the hopes of finding them homes.
"Why can't we do that here," she asked? Bill said he would check with the news director and call her back.
"It wasn't even five minutes before Bill called back, he'd spoken with Judy Jenkins, the executive director of WBIR then, and the reaction was when can we get started? I was unbelievably elated," said Mimi in a 2000 interview.
Mimi promised she and her husband Ivan, who adopted two girls themselves, would help set up the program. The details were worked out, and in May of 1980 we broadcast the first Monday's Child.
After that, every Monday for thirty years we introduced special needs adoptable children. Big kids, little kids, shy kids, happy kids -- hundreds and hundreds of kids. And hundreds found permanent homes as a result of Monday's Child.
The whole community became more aware of the need for adoptive homes because of Monday's Child.
For those thirty years, Mimi Brody supported and encouraged Monday's child in every way she could.
"The most important message of Monday's Child is if you really want a child, to show love and open your home, then there are children who are available. All you have to do is be willing to open up your heart and let it happen," said Mimi back in 2000.
"Monday's Child is probably the most important thing I've ever done on television. It made a difference, a huge difference, in hundreds of lives. Mimi Brody made that happen," said Bill.
"The world is a lot better because Mimi Brody was here for a while."
Mimi leaves behind her husband, Ivan and daughters Melissa Ringuette, of Maynard, Massachusetts, and Holly Brody Whitsell of Knoxville.