Television viewers are advised to keep a box of tissues handy this weekend, as the lives of many Oklahoma City residents will be changed on a tear-jerking television episode of “Secret Millionaire.”
Oklahoma City nonprofit organizations Limbs for Life and the Oklahoma Wrestling Foundation will be featured on the television series at 7 p.m. Sunday on ABC. “Secret Millionaire” places some of America's richest self-made millionaires into the nation's most impoverished neighborhoods for a week, concealing their identities. The millionaire's are given the equivalent of a week's welfare salary — $75 in Oklahoma City — to survive while they volunteer at local nonprofit organizations. Their mission is to help those in need by volunteering in any way they can.
The millionaires in Sunday's episode are Chuck Runyon and Dave Mortensen, the co-founders of Anytime Fitness, a national health club chain with 2,000 locations worldwide.
Runyon and Mortensen establish strong emotional connections to those they help by experiencing their struggles first hand.
Pam Timmons is the director of development for Limbs for a life, a nonprofit organization that provides financial assistance those in need of prosthetic limbs. She is featured on the episode and admits to getting emotional when the millionaire's revealed their identity and donation.
“You would have been crying too,” Timmons said. “It was overwhelming.”
The other organization receiving aid in the episode is the Oklahoma City Wrestling Foundation. Tyler Williams, founder of the program, said the mission of his organization is to take inner-city youth off the streets and get them on the wrestling mat. He said the organization provides positive role models and coaches to encourage kids to lead healthy and fulfilling lives.
“It's about giving children that otherwise wouldn't have the opportunity to participate in a sports program,” Williams said. “A lot of these families have made absolute transformations.”
Look in Monday's edition of The Oklahoman for an in-depth look at Limbs for Life and how Secret Millionaire impacted their mission to help amputees that cannot afford prosthetic limbs.