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Radio Raises Spirits and Relief Funds

The positive power of local radio can be amazing. These four diverse stories showcase radio’s incredible impact in raising much needed funds, food and providing a voice for positive political action in the community. I’m hopeful that by sharing such stories with our readers on a regular basis, we encourage more stations to be proactive and plan to make a difference in 2017.

Country musician Jason Aldean, third from left, teamed with NASH FM’s Ty Bentli, Kelly Ford and Chuck Wicks to raise money for Musicians on Call.

• You gotta admit that “Musicians on Call” is a cool name for a nonprofit. Since 1999, they’ve been delivering music bedside to patients at hospitals and hospices. Recently, Cumulus Nashville country music stations WKDF(FM) and WSM(FM1) teamed up with Jason Aldean and Michael Tyler to raise $16,000 for the organization. On-air talent Ty, Kelly and Chuck hosted the show, which included a live auction featuring an autographed Jason Aldean guitar.

• Here’s proof that even student-run non-commercial stations can make a big difference to the local community. Seton Hall University’s WSOU(FM) collected 640 pounds of food for the Community Food Bank of New Jersey through the Students Change Hunger program. “More than 1.3 million people in New Jersey require food assistance,” said WSOU News Director Katie Fatzler. “Factor in New York City, and there are many people in our listening area impacted by not having enough to eat.”

• And listeners always express significant appreciation for disaster relief efforts. Knoxville, Tenn.-based Cumulus station WIVK(FM) raised $815,000 during an 18-hour radiothon to benefit victims of the winter’s Gatlinburg wildfires.

• Last but not least, consider asking your local congressperson to participate in this upcoming public service effort. The NAB is now inviting members of Congress and their families to record PSAs about various important issues for stations across the United States. The actual recording for radio and TV stations will happen in May and early June. Those with questions can reach NAB Senior Manager of Public Service Suzie Raven at [email protected] or 202 429-5448.

Share your story by emailing [email protected].