The Penny Drive was a success ... so why were children crying?
After only about twelve weeks, Buckskin Bill opened the safe on air. The children of Baton Rouge had collected approximately $3,500-enough money to purchase the first elephant for the Baton Rouge Zoo. Buckskin happily announced that the Penny Drive was over.
Within 10 minutes, the WAFB receptionist made her way into the studio and informed Buckskin that he had made a terrible mistake. She told him that the phone would not stop ringing. Children were calling, crying and parents were angry because they had not had a chance to participate in the Penny Drive.
After the commercial break was over, Buckskin Bill apologized on the air and informed viewers that, by popular demand, the Penny Drive would continue for a few more weeks. Every day in the last two weeks, The Buckskin Bill Show was elongated to an hour. With the exception of commercial breaks, the whole show was a live shot of children and their parents passing through the WAFB studio to make their donations to Baby Elephant Walk. Local police were brought in to handle the traffic and the line of people that winded through the parking lot.
At the end of the second week, the safe was opened once again. Another $3,500 was collected-enough for a second baby elephant.