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81-Year-Old Texas TV Station Manager Taking Memorial Day “Leap of Faith” From Airplane to Honor Veterans, Raise Awareness for Digital TV Transition

By Dave Bohon, WDC Media News

2009-05-22 -- WDC Media News -- In mid-June television stations nationwide will make the final switch to digital broadcast, and on Sunday, May 24th, 81-year-old Catherine Mason, general manager of Christian television station KPLE in Killeen, Texas, will take a "flying leap of faith" to help ensure that her station can make a smooth digital transition.

KPLE, an independent affiliate of religious broadcasting giant Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), has raised almost $150,000 for equipment required to make the digital switch, but still needs an additional $50,000 to complete the June transition required by the FCC. To help with the final funding push, Mason will take to the air on May 24th, 4:00 p.m., at the nearby Salado, Texas Airport, to make her very first skydive-a tandem jump with a skydiving professional.

"You're never to old to step out in faith for God," said Mason, who has managed KPLE for the last 16 years. "Our viewers have done so much over the years to keep Christian broadcasting going 24/7 in central Texas, and I am taking this 'leap of faith' to thank them and to challenge others to get involved."

Mason explained that KPLE is the only 24-hour Christian television station between the central Texas communities of Waco and Austin, and its broadcast coverage includes Fort Hood-the largest military installation in the free world. She also noted the significance that her jump is taking place on the Memorial Day weekend. "When I take this jump, it will be for all our military personnel who have served our nation both past and present," she said. "Memorial Day is a time to remember all those who have served to keep us free. It's a time to thank God for blessing this nation with His Word, His mercy, and His grace that has sustained us for over 200 years."

Bob Higley, TBN's vice president for affiliate relations, said that Catherine Mason's "leap of faith" is representative of the spirit that has guided Christian television for over 30 years. "The individuals and teams who keep TBN's five distinct networks on the air 24 hours a day around the world are individuals with a spirit of faith and adventure, just like Catherine's" he said. "They are individuals who have literally given their all to make sure that faith and family-friendly programming is an integral part of the choice viewers have on a daily basis."

Those wishing to acknowledge Mason's jump by contributing to KPLE's digital upgrade can do so at the station's website, www.kpletv.org. For those wishing to witness Catherine's skydive, log on to www.skydivetemple.com or call 254-947-3483 for directions to the Salado Airport.

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