Friends of TV meteorologist Rich Apuzzo, who died last month at 52 without insurance, have launched a GoFundMe effort for his widow Ruthie and their three sons.
“Without him, I wouldn't have the career I have today. He changed my life,” says John Gumm, WKRC-TV’s “Good Morning Cincinnati” forecaster and Apuzzo’s first intern at WXIX-TV (Channel 19).
“He also helped many others in the broadcast meteorology community. With that in mind, we have come together to create a Go Fund Me page to help Ruthie and the boys. If you could pass along the link on your blog, it would be great. “
So here is the link to the Support Meteorologist Rich Apuzzo fund.
As I posted Friday, Apuzzo died July 7, six months after he announced that he had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and didn’t have any insurance. His grieving family has yet to plan a memorial service.
Rich and Ruthie, his wife of 28 years, owned and operated Skyeye Weather LLC, a weather consulting and education service, since he left WXIX-TV in 2006. He was Channel 19’s chief meteorologist from the station’s news premiere in 1993 until 2006.
He also did forecasts for KXAN-TV in Austin, Texas, and WATM-TV/WWCP TV in Johnstown, Pa., after studying geography and weather forecasting at Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana. During a visit to his alma mater, he met student John Gumm.
“When I was working at the radio station WVUR at Valparaiso University (I did the "coveted" Saturday night midnight-2am shift) this fellow walked in Homecoming Weekend and said he used to work there when he was in college. I asked him what he did now. He said he was a meteorologist. I got excited because that was my major and I told him such. I asked him where and he said Cincinnati. I told him that was my hometown, and the rest was history.
“Since the newscast was brand new in 1994, I had no clue who he was. I planned on a career with the National Weather Service, but he convinced me to do an internship with him. That was back in the days of the (Channel 19) Midnight News. I worked 8 hours a day, 5 days per week in the summer of 1995.
“I was hooked. He helped me make a resume tape (which was horrible) and a former producer for Jerry and Norma at Channel 5, who was then a news director in Rock Island, IL, hired me over the phone because "Your tape is pretty bad, but I see potential. Plus, you're from Cincinnati and I love that place. My ex wife and kids are there. This job also pays so little I haven't been able to get anyone else to take it."
Rich and Ruthie have three sons, Ricky III, 26; Ron, 20; and Ryan, 15.
The GoFundMe goal is $100,000. In February, Apuzzo announced the Rich Apuzzo Sunny Day Fund at Fifth Third Bank, which is still active.