Community members remember Don Griffin's passion

by: Scott Wickersham Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Don Griffin is retiring this week after more than 30 years leading the Action 9 reports. Don has left an impression not only on viewers but community leaders as well.

Over the decades, Don's reports have changed lives, saving people money and hardship.

"He's one of the first people I met when I came to Charlotte," said Better Business Bureau President Tom Bartholomy.

Bartholomy has been in countless Action 9 reports. He saw Don's passion for the job.

"(He was) really focused on justice and getting resolution for folks," Bartholomy said.

Bartholomy said the job takes guts too.

"When you go out to interview bad guys, you don't know what's behind that door," he said.

Bruce Hamlett with Community Link was also in some of Don's reports. His agency helps people find affordable housing.

"He's a strong advocate for the downtrodden. He goes to bat. He will fight for you," Hamlett said.

Eyewitness News anchor Scott Wickersham said he also spoke to community leaders about the "real Don," or the man behind the sharp suit.

Did you know Don Griffin loves golf?

Bartholomy wonders if the putting green in front of his office is the real reason Don came by so often.

"We started to do a lot more interviews when we moved out here to Ballantyne," Bartholomy said.

Bartholomy said he will always remember what he calls the Don Griffin stroll, a fixture in Action 9 reports. He said he'll remember the shot of Don and his interview subjects walking down the hall, talking together.

Hamlett's done the stroll too. He said Don's name was dropped often by people calling his agency looking for help, but the same didn't always work for him.

"I've tried at the golf course but I can't find a place where he plays. Nobody knows who he is," Hamlett said.

However, Hamlett and Bartholomy agree, Don will be missed and Charlotte is a better place because of his work.

"There was no story he wouldn't pursue," Bartholomy said.

"It's something you have to have a passion for. That's will be the toughest (thing) to replace, his passion," Hamlett said.