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Make a Difference for the Long Haul - Radio World

Make a Difference for the Long Haul

Longevity enables personalities to grow events that benefit their community
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As a regular column, “Radio Doing Good” is now celebrating its first birthday. One thing is undeniable: We could fill an entire issue of Radio World with the great work that radio is doing every day across the USA! Thanks so much for your submissions. Keep’em coming during 2018.

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KLUC’s Chet Buchanan spent 12 days at 30 feet in the air and broke his all-time record to benefit the needy in Las Vegas.

Here are just a few of the terrific community events that happened leading up to holidays.

There’s nothing like longevity … Not only does many years on the air bring consistent ratings, this enables personalities to grow events that benefit their community.

On Entercom’s 98.5 KLUC(FM) in Las Vegas, Chet Buchanan conducted his 19th annual Toy Drive. For 12 days, Chet lived 30 feet off the ground in a scaffolding unit to raise awareness for families who need help during holiday season. Chet’s listeners filled 32 different 50-foot trailers with new toys, including 8,109 bikes — plus $455,550 in cash and gift cards.

Operations Manager J.B. King commented, “After battling 30-mile-per-hour winds and near-freezing overnight temperatures, we still managed to have our biggest Toy Drive year ever.”

During its annual radiothon and silent auction, 1200 WOAI, San Antonio, Texas, raised over $200,000 for The Elf Louise Christmas Project. This organization purchases and delivers toys during the holiday season to many thousands of Bexar County’s less fortunate kids. iHeartMedia San Antonio’s on-air personalities — which include Russell Rush, Kyle Due and Randy Carroll — joined personalities from sister station News Radio 1200 WOAI on-air to encourage listeners to donate to the radiothon and bid on the silent auction.

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The legendary band Weezer and Philadelphia’s Radio 104.5 create beautiful charity together.
WRFF/Tricia Gdowik

“I can’t begin to thank News Radio 1200 WOAI and their listeners enough,” said Louise Locker, the woman who founded the Elf Louise Christmas Project 49 years ago. Over time, the station has helped raise over $4.2 million.

“The spirit was amazing and kept everyone going. So many children will have a happier Christmas this year, thanks to this radiothon.”

A minimum of 98 cents from every dollar donated goes directly to buying the toys. It now takes nearly 5,000 volunteers to process applications, wrap presents, and establish the routes for the Santa team to deliver gifts to more than 30,000 children each year.

For more information on how to donate or volunteer, listeners can go to www.elflouise.org.

Remember Mitch Albom’s book about his professor, Morrie Schwartz? Morrie expressed to Mitch that “Giving is living” and, taking that advice to heart, Mitch has made miracles happen in the Motor City on Cumulus’ 760 WJR. With help from guest celebs like Hugh Jackman, Hank Azaria, Dr. Phil and Matthew Stafford, Mitch was able to raise an amazing $1.3 million for Detroit charities.

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It’s great when listeners can see a favorite artist and make a difference at the same time! iHeartMedia’s Radio 104.5 in Philly got Weezer to headline their fourth annual Movember Gala. Listeners made a donation and got a ticket. This simple yet fulfilling appeal raised $27,603. Proceeds went to the Movember Foundation, a global men’s health charity investing in programs for prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health, and physical inactivity.

Warming hearts can be as important as raising money. The nationally syndicated Ty, Kelly and Chuck morning show collected 100,000 thank-you notes to be sent to men and women serving in the military who won’t be able to come home for the holidays. By the way, they had a little help from — get this — Garth Brooks!

“As God is my witness, I swear, I thought turkeys could fly!” Beasley Media Group’s John DeBella on 102.9 WMGK took Les Nessman’s famous line and collected more than 12,800 turkeys for the needy in Philadelphia.

I’ve participated in many St. Jude Radiothons, and I find it thrilling that the organization continues to partner with radio, locally and nationally. iHeartMedia’s nationally syndicated country program “The Bobby Bones Show” raised nearly $1.7 million in a two-day St. Jude Radiothon. Listeners donated via text while listening to many guest performers, including Dustin Lynch, Kip Moore, Dan + Shay, Lauren Alaina, Chris Janson and many more.

To wrap up our account of heartwarming generosity, “Stuff the Truck,” on Press Communications’ WBBO(FM), Atlanta, collected over 4,000 pounds of food for those in need. Chris Eagan, director of branding and programming, expresses just what I’m thinking: “Giving back to the communities we serve is exactly what local radio does best.”

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