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Today Show's Roker to broadcast from West Fargo

Al Roker of NBC's "Today Show" will be broadcasting live from West Fargo next week. The popular weatherman will be visiting the Lynne and Curtis Olien home on April 18, doing remotes featuring Project Linus, a local non-profit organization for which Olien serves as chapter coordinator.

"I'm very excited about the opportunity for Project Linus, but personally, I'm very nervous," Olien said in anticipation of the visit by Roker and his crew.

Project Linus is a national organization that provides handmade blankets for children who are ill, traumatized or in need. The local group deals with 45 different agencies all over eastern North Dakota, and since its inception in January of 2006, has distributed over 2,700 blankets.

Olien said national exposure for her group was triggered by the "Today Show" seeking to spotlight non-profit organizations in different parts of the country that do a lot of good with very little outside source funding, but don't receive a lot of notice.

The broadcast will include a four-minute pre-taped segment completed by NBC crews in two prior visits, one in mid-February when they taped a blanket-making session, the other the end of March. In addition, Roker will be doing live remotes visiting with Olien and a couple of people from agencies that have benefited from Project Linus blankets.

Olien herself was inspired to become involved with the organization because of a personal experience. "We have a son who died five years ago," Olien said. "He lost his blanket while he was in the hospital and the nurses found him another one. Consequently, when learning about Project Linus several years later, it just clicked, and I told myself this is something I really need to do."

Olien said the Project Linus segment is expected to air sometime during the second half-hour of the April 18 "Today Show," which can be seen on Channel 11, starting at 7 a.m.