PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – In celebration of its 25th anniversary, WAVY-TV 10’s parent company Nexstar is once again giving back to the local communities its television markets serve.

Nexstar Founder, Chairman and CEO, Perry Sook, established the company’s “Founder’s Day of Caring” in 2016.

“When we came upon our 20th anniversary, I was like what can we do to commemorate? This is an important milestone. I said, you know, we are a local service business. We serve our local communities with content that can help advertisers sell things. And, so the best thing we can do to give back to our communities as a thank you for how they helped to make our company and build our company,” Sook said.

Every year since, employees in each of Nexstar’s 116 television markets are given paid time off to do volunteer work with nonprofit organizations and public service agencies in their local community.

This year’s day of service fell on Thursday, June 17.

“Giving back to our community is key,” said WAVY-TV 10 Vice President and General Manager Carol Ward. “First and foremost obviously we’re a television station and a media company, but we’re also a public service company and it’s key that we continue to support our community.”

WAVY has an exciting new project for 2021: after a long and isolating year for many older Hampton Roads residents, we’re focusing our efforts on them by bringing some beauty to two senior-focused community centers. We’ll be landscaping and planting gardens at the Rokeby Center in Chesapeake and the Brittingham-Midtown Community Center in Newport News.

“I am just flabbergasted and excited at what is happening this morning at the Rokeby Center,” said Karen Christy, who is the recreation coordinator for Senior Programs for the City of Chesapeake.

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast Troop 209 brought a new bench to the garden in Chesapeake.

“To sit and just gaze out over this will be very therapeutic for them,” said Christy. “I think most importantly the knowledge that this is happening really on their behalf, it speaks volumes.”

‘When they come out here and see that we built them a garden pretty much overnight, you know that’s kind of the joy you get helping other people,” said WAVY-TV 10 photojournalist Larry Carney. “Hopefully the seniors, when they see this garden, they’ll be amazed.”

Follow our community efforts on social media using #NexstarCares and #NexstarNation.

Sponsors Basnight Land and Lawn, Tidewater Mulch and Greenbrier Historic Farms made sure we were well equipped to get the job done.

“Getting out here and giving everyone something pretty to look at when they come and go to the community center or the park, we just really love the idea being a part of it,” said Tori Basnight, with Basnight Land and Lawn.

Nexstar is the largest local television group in the country.  Collectively, Nexstar stations produce over 5,700 hours of local news per week.