The morning of Oct. 10 will mark the beginning of the second annual Bull Country Community Cares Radio-A-Thon, sponsored by Sam Dial Jewelers.
The Radio-A-Thon is a 30-hour radio broadcast to fundraise money for the United Way of Pullman and United Way of Moscow and Latah County.
The money raised for United Way will go toward local non-profit organizations, said Jon Carson, promotions director for Inland Northwest Broadcasting.
Local organizations can apply for the funding, and if they meet United Way’s criteria, they will be eligible for some of the funds raised by the Radio-A-Thon.
There are more than 30 non-profit organizations included in this year’s fundraiser, including Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse, Circle of Caring, Families Together of the Palouse, Friendly Neighbors Senior Center and the Idaho Food Bank.
In 2012, the Radio-A-Thon beat its $2,000 goal within the first four hours of the event.
Carson said he thinks one of the reasons for the quick success was how they included local celebrity guests.
“Last year we had athletic director, Bill Moose, from Washington State University,” Carson said. “We had basketball coach, Ken Bone, from the Cougars come in. We had mayor, Nancy Chaney, on air. I believe we even had a phone in from (WSU President) Elson Floyd, last year. We got some heavy hitters in that arena.”
Cretia Bunney, executive director for United Way of Moscow and Latah County, said last year’s Radio-A-Thon also had a large impact on their organization in helping other non-profits.
“By the money that we raised last year, we were able to increase our allocation amount by $4,000 on how much money we give out,” Bunney said. “We also had a $70,000 goal, and we’ve had that goal for all the years I’ve been involved, which is about eight years, and we met our goal last year.”
This year, the goal is much higher. Instead of attempting to raise $2,000 in 30 hours, Carson said the station will attempt to raise $10,000. He said the radio team has a few ideas on how to achieve that goal in just over one day.
Moose and University of Idaho Interim President Don Burnett will make appearances this year.
Carson said he hoped they are able to get their amount of time it took them to raise $2,000 last year.
“I think the $10,000 goal is going to be met,” Carson said. “Last year, we had a big support from the community come out when we started getting close to that $2,000 goal, even though it was at 9:30 in the morning. Within a few hours of starting the fundraiser, we had businesses call in and were challenging each other to pledge more money. Seeing the community reach out and set those challenge precedents, that’s a really cool aspect of it for me.”
In addition, many of the agencies receiving funding from United Way will talk about their organizations during the Radio-A-Thon.
“That’s something that keeps the listeners interested,” Carson said. “Because everyone knows the importance of the United Way, everyone knows the importance of the United Way, because they fund local non-profits. So when you actually have the non-profit there talking about what they do specifically for the community it’s an added dimension of interest.”
Erin Bamer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org