BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Beloved WAFB anchor Donna Britt retired Wednesday after nearly 38 years of remarkable work at the station. Donna anchored her final newscast Wednesday, June 13 alongside co-anchor, Greg Meriwether.
Since joining the WAFB News Team in 1981, Donna has led viewers of Louisiana's News Channel through countless major news events with her calming voice and professional demeanor.
Along with longtime anchorman George Sells, who retired in 2012, Donna helped make WAFB's 10 p.m. newscast among the highest rated late evening newscasts in the entire country.
Last year, Donna announced she would stop anchoring the station's 10 p.m. newscast in order to spend more time with her family.
She has continued to anchor the station's 6 p.m. along with Meriwether, who is known among many viewers as "Street Beat."
"One Halloween, Donna dressed her then young son Louis up as 'Street Beat', complete with a black leather jacket and Channel 9 microphone," Greg recalls. "He was her co-anchor that night and racked up! I knew then that I had her confidence and realized what most of Baton Rouge already knew: everybody has always had Donna's confidence because she sees the good across the board and across all lines. We have all had a seat at her kitchen table which just happens to be the anchor desk from which she has narrated much of Baton Rouge's history over the years."
Last July, Donna informed viewers she was battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.
Donna is heavily involved in charity and volunteer efforts including serving 17 years on the Salvation Army's Community Board. During that time, she spent eight hours per week in December singing carols next to a Salvation Army Christmas kettle as she collected donations for the group.
When ALS prevented her from singing at the kettle last year, a volunteer took her place wearing a shirt that read "I am Donna Britt Today".
For ten years, Donna served as the "library elf" for Progress Elementary School. Every month, she decorated the school library with giant cardboard decorations she painted at home. She also sponsored a no-holds-barred ice cream sundae party every month for the class that read the most library books.
Earlier this year, the Boy Scouts presented Donna with The 12 Points Award, one of their most prestigious honors. Donna is an avid volunteer for scouting. She has participated in numerous scouting activities and campouts and says she is "fiercely proud" of carrying a canoe over mountains and paddling the Northern Tier Extreme Boy Scout Adventure on American's Northern Border along with her son Louis. Donna physically trained for months to build her stamina for the event and boasted that she "outlasted some of the men."
RELATED: Saving Donna Britt's voice
A breast cancer survivor, Donna has also been active in fundraising for breast cancer research including participating in Susan G. Komen events.
She has been the recipient of numerous awards including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Louisiana Association of Broadcasters and was twice named Communicator of the Year by the Public Relations Association of Louisiana.
Her last day anchoring the 6 p.m. newscast will be Wednesday, June 13.
"Donna is one of the kindest and most caring people I've ever met," said WAFB News Director Robb Hays. "Her warm smile and one-of-a-kind personality have won over the hearts of our viewers and, certainly, everyone here at the station."