Beloved KWTX weatherman Rusty Garrett back on air to help raise money for Food For Families

Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 5:34 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 16, 2023 at 5:36 PM CST
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Beloved KWTX Weatherman Rusty Garrett is returning on the air at KWTX for the first time in months amid his cancer battle to help raise money and donations for the annual Food For Families food drive.

Rusty was part of the original Food For Families drive 34 years ago and has only missed the annual event twice in over three decades; once when he had the flu and last year when he was in the thick of his battle with esophageal cancer and preparing for major surgery.

Rusty will return to Gatesville Friday where he has been a fixture at one of the most successful donations sites in the largest one-day food drive in the state of Texas.

“Out of a love for the Gatesville community and their support for the project every year,” Rusty said, when asked why it was important for him to return.

The City of Gatesville is thrilled their most well-known and well-loved Food for Families ambassador will be on hand soliciting donations.

Gatesville ISD Superintendent Barrett Pollard said his high school is planning a school assembly to show Rusty support Friday morning at 11 a.m.

In an email he sent to staff, Pollard talked of how Rusty has had a huge impact in the small town.

“From 1990 to 2023, Gatesville has raised 8,116,369 pounds of food,” he wrote. “Of all the towns in Central Texas, Rusty Garrett always comes to Gatesville to support the cause.”

Rusty was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in July of 2022.

After months of radiation and chemotherapy as well as major surgery, Rusty was declared cancer-free in April of this year.

In July, doctors learned the cancer returned.

Rusty has been undergoing treatment including radiation and immunotherapy.

“After additional cancer cells were discovered in July, I had 33 additional radiation treatments,” Rusty said. “I am hopeful the next PET scan will be clear when it’s performed after the holidays.

While Rusty has completed radiation, he will continue immunotherapy for likely the next two years.

Rusty said despite his health struggles, he wouldn’t miss the chance to help Gatesville another year for Food for Families.

“Gatesville may be a small town but it’s a town with a heart as big as Texas and Food for Families proves that every year,” Rusty said.

Rusty will be at the Gatesville Fire Station from noon to 7 p.m. Friday.

PHOTO GALLERY: Food For Families 2022