Our Town with William Kelly: Palm Beach TV team lauded for courageous Covid-19 reporting

William Kelly  |  Civic Association  |  Our Town  |  April 12, 2022

The Palm Beach Civic Association honored two members of its communications team Monday for their courage in reporting on the Covid-19 public health emergency.

Palm Beach TV host Wendy Rutledge and videographer Philip Baldwin received the Civic Association’s Wright Award for outstanding leadership at the organization’s Annual Meeting at the Flagler Museum. Around 375 people attended the event sponsored by Palm Beach Island Hospice Foundation.

During the early, pre-vaccine days of the pandemic, Rutledge and Baldwin consistently ventured beyond the call of duty, risking exposure to the coronavirus while reporting on events or information they gathered from the field, said Fire-Rescue Chief Darrel Donatto, who presented them with their awards.

“Everybody was scrambling for information and trying to make decisions that literally meant whether they would live or die,” Donatto said. “Wendy Rutledge and Philip Baldwin stepped up and provided everybody in this town with that information. They were extremely diligent in weeding out what was real and not real … There was never a time when they said ‘no.’”

Rutledge joined the Civic Association team in September 2019 as a reporter and was promoted to Palm Beach TV news anchor and news manager in February 2021. Baldwin began working for the Civic Association in September 2018 and was hired as full-time videographer and editor in May 2020.

Their Palm Beach TV reports can be viewed on the Civic Association’s website, palmbeachcivic.org.

Named after Civic Association Chairman Bob Wright, the award is given each year to members of the community who have demonstrated outstanding leadership during periods of time that are critical or marked by disruptive change.

Civic Association President Mary Robosson said it’s an honor to work with Rutledge and Baldwin.

“Their expertise and knowledge have greatly enhanced our communications and our mission – to enhance the quality of life in Palm Beach,” Robosson said. “They are so deserving of the Wright Award.”

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