Why He’s Top 40: He has used his popularity to help numerous charities including World Vision, Hats for the Homeless and the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation.
Key To Success: “I get as much out of it as the people [I’m helping] . It makes me feel good.”
Josh Classen dashes between six weather maps and punches numbers into a keyboard, preparing for his next series of live hits. “The weather does not sleep and, therefore, I guess, neither does the weather guy,” Classen says.
The city’s most prolific forecaster can be heard on 630 CHED and iNews 880, and seen on CTV News Edmonton, where he is chief meteorologist. “I am very lucky to have the job that I have,” he says.
But, as much as his job has brought him success and popularity, it has also provided the opportunity to support numerous charities across the city.
Classen started volunteering before he arrived in Edmonton, when he got his first big local news job at Global in 1999. “It kind of came along with [the] job when I was in Saskatoon,” he says. “Every weekend I had some event that I would emcee or a walk that I would go out and help out with.” He even met his wife, Kristin, at an event for the Special Olympics.
After a brief stint with Global Toronto, in 2003 he landed the CTV job in Edmonton. He stays busy with charities such as the Excel Society and the Winnifred Stewart Association, organizations that help people with disabilities.
One of his favourite causes is called Hats for the Homeless, a program he launched himself a few years ago. Classen collects toques for the less fortunate year-round, often getting large donations at the events he emcees.Even in the throes of summer, a big black garbage bag is usually sitting under his desk stuffed with hats. Last year, he collected more than 5,000 tuques. When his three sons (aged 3 to 7) get older, he wants to take them along on his trips to the shelters and inspire them to one day get involved in their community – even in a small way.
Classen never feels like he’s doing enough because of his hectic schedule – “the blessing and the curse” of his job. But he hopes whatever he can do makes a difference in the lives of others, because it certainly makes a difference to him.