The theme of the Broadcasters Foundation of America’s financial assistance program for 2007 is “Because Bad Things Can Happen to Good People.”
This is not a cliché but rather the foundation’s motivation to work year-round to provide a safety net for broadcasters and their families who are in acute need.
This year, under the direction of Chair Philip J. Lombardo, the foundation’s board of directors has launched its most aggressive outreach campaign ever to ensure that any broadcaster who needs help is aware of the foundation’s financial assistance program. “Because Bad Things Can Happen to Good People” is a most appropriate theme because it delivers a message of compassion, understanding and hope.
A series of outreach advertisements are being scheduled on a pro-bono basis by the radio and television trade press throughout this year. Many state broadcasters associations also have placed the outreach campaign in their monthly newsletters. The Broadcasters Foundation of America is running the campaign in its own magazine, “On The Air.”
In 2007 the foundation will distribute in excess of $400,000 to broadcasters throughout the 50 states. It is expected that grants will reach the $500,000 mark in 2008. The foundation’s board of directors works year to ensure that the funds necessary to meet this growing demand will continue to be in place.
The following two stories of new Broadcasters Foundation of America grant recipients vividly testify to the urgency or making sure that no broadcaster in need of help is unaware of the foundation’s grant program:
Example #1: A married couple, both having worked as successful sales executives in the broadcasting industry, find themselves in an unimaginable situation. The wife, mother of two small children, was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease in 2005.
This rare and paralyzing disease has robbed her of the life she knew in a very short time. She is fed intravenously and relies on breathing support to survive. This young woman is aware of her surroundings. She can see and hear her children but cannot hold or speak clearly with them.
Her heartbroken husband is now raising the seven- and 10-year-old children, coping with the cruel reality that confronts them every day. The Broadcasters Foundation of America provides the critical financial assistance for this family to survive.
Example #2: A broadcast personality and industry entrepreneur is receiving our help. This individual was in the forefront of the community as a founder of a national publication dedicated to the industry. He later pursued several independent entrepreneurial ventures, unfortunately to no lasting financial success.
In December of 2006, he suffered a massive stroke resulting in brain damage to a serious degree. This dynamic communicator now contends with short-term memory loss and is at this time critically delusional. Fighting for his life, he has made enough physical improvement to be transferred to a local rehabilitation center, where his present condition is complicated and unstable. Known as a bold risk-taker, he is now in the unfathomable position of being unable to manage his own life.
His health problems are compounded by a dire financial need. He is without health insurance, pension or other resources mandatory to afford the high-level quality of health care he needs to survive. His two daughters, working closely with the foundation, have found an acceptable health care facility in which to place their father. This would have been impossible without the Broadcasters Foundation of America.
Think of how desperate these families would be if they had not heard about the Broadcasters Foundation of America. The message is simple. You can be our eyes and ears. We need to make sure that all broadcasters who may need our help are aware that we are here for them, always in a most compassionate way.