Category Archives: Connecting to Local Communities

WION’s ‘Treasures for Troops’ Celebrates 5 Years

Via Jim Carlyle, WION 

It’s been five years since WION (Ionia) began “Treasures for Troops.” Since then, it’s grown each year, and it’s going on this week! It kicked off Monday afternoon with a broadcast in Muir, and there’s two more broadcasts this week, one from the Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce on Thursday and a wrap-up at Young Automotive’s GM store in South Ionia on Friday.

All the collected proceeds are sorted then boxed on Sunday of the collection week. Last year, 200 boxes were sent to deployed servicemen and women thanks to the generosity of listeners and businesses.

This year, WION invited sister station WGLM in Greenville/Lakeview to participate collecting, and is especially proud of a new partnership with the Lowell Schools’ LPFM, (WRWW-LP) in which students promoted their collection for the drive on the school station, in the halls, and in their community! WION plans to have some of those students on the air during their broadcast from the Lowell Chamber.

If early donations are any indication, this year the drive may exceed it’s 250 box unofficial goal. There have also been donations for the (predicted, approximate) $4300 needed for postage for the project from local restaurants, Reurink Roofing & Siding Sales in Ionia, and even from a radio station engineer who listens in another state to WION’s AM stereo online stream!

WION hopes to have final numbers for the MAB to report in the next newsletter.

WJLB Begins 35th Annual Coats For Kids Benefit

On November 3, iHeartMedia’s WJLB-FM (Detroit) kicked off its 35th annual Coats for Kids radiothon.  It’s a fundraiser for the Salvation Army of Metro Detroit.

The kickoff live broadcast aired from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. from the Adams Butzel Community Center. Senior Vice-President Tony Travatto told All Access: “iHeartMedia/Detroit is passionate about the greater Detroit community and committed to its advancement. We look forward to bringing everyone of all ages together to collect coats and money for those who need a little extra help during the cold Michigan winters.”

Listeners were encouraged to attend and donate funds or new coats. The event was hosted by station personalities Bushman, Kirby Gwen, Dr. Darrius and KSmoot, along with live mix DJs and celebrity appearances.  At the kickoff event, between coats and cash, the station collected over $38,000 to keep kids warm in Detroit this winter.  Highlights of the event included a surprise visit from Tee Grizzley with 100 new coats in tow, Flipp Dinero giving a young man literally the coat off his back and incredible performances by Sada Baby and other local and national artists.

Coats for Kids continues through December.

WXYZ To Air Detroit Tree Lighting


WXYZ-TV (Detroit) will make the holiday season a little brighter for Detroit residents as the station will air the lighting of the city’s official Christmas tree at Campus Martius Park in the heart of downtown Detroit. WXYZ will broadcast complete coverage of the event during a live special, “Light Up the Season,” from 7- 8 p.m. on November 16.

7 Action News anchors Dave LewAllen and Carolyn Clifford will host the program, along with 7 Action News anchors Glenda Lewis and Alan Campbell. The show will include musical performances from Detroit’s own gospel legend Ce Ce Winans along with the jazz sounds of Ben Sharkey and the Woodward Horns. U.S. Olympic figure skating duo Alex and Maia Shibutani will perform on the rink at Campus Martius during the show.

The celebration will also include live shots of the activities at Detroit’s Beacon Park. “We are pleased to share this great holiday celebration with people across Metro Detroit,” said Mike Murri, WXYZ and WMYD vice president and general manager. “The Christmas tree at Campus Martius Park has become the centerpiece for holiday celebrations in Detroit. We’re proud to share the beauty of our great city and partner with the Downtown Detroit Partnership and the DTE Energy Foundation for this wonderful holiday tradition.”

This is the 15th year for the Downtown Detroit Partnership’s annual tree lighting ceremony. The centerpiece of this year’s event is a 60-foot Norway spruce tree that was donated by a family in Plymouth, Michigan. The tree will be decked out with more than 19,000 colored lights and ornaments.

WXYZ will begin live coverage on Friday in “The NOW” at 4 p.m. 7 Action News at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. will capture all the excitement leading up to the big moment, including a special interview with Santa.

“Light Up the Season” will also be streamed live on wxyz.com and on the WXYZ Facebook page.

WLEN Hosts 1st Senior Cleaners Closet

L-R) Cari Rebottaro, Rachel Cordle, Kathi Tice-Taylor (Lenawee County Department of Aging). Julie Koehn and Kathy Williams (WLEN).

During the month of October, WLEN-FM (Adrian), along with Home Instead Senior Care, TLC Community Credit Union, Tuckey’s Big Boy in Tecumseh and the Lenawee County Department of Aging hosted the 1st Senior Cleaners Closet.

Every year, the Department of Aging helps over 2400 seniors in Lenawee County, keeping people independent and in their homes longer. They provide many kinds of assistance and one of those services is home cleaning. Most of the funds they receive cannot be used for cleaning supplies and many seniors; especially those on fixed incomes are not able to purchase the supplies that the cleaners need.

A month long collection drive was established by WLEN to collect those supplies as well as raise awareness for the services of the Department of Aging. Hundreds of supplies were collected to be used in senior homes all over Lenawee in the coming year.

Jackson Radio Works Gathers Teen Volunteers for Make a Difference Day


On Saturday, October 27, Jackson Radio Work’s WKHM-FM (Jackson)(K-105.3)
enlisted the help of the Youth Advisory Committee, a youth-focused and youth-administered group with the Jackson Community Foundation, to help clean up the leaves that have fallen on the yards of some Jackson residents in honor of National Make a Difference Day. The homes we visited were chosen by the Jackson County Department on Aging and consisted of elderly and homebound residents.

These youth volunteers were joined by the Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) Counselor Cindy Bellew, YAC Volunteer Kelly Froedtert; and K-105.3 staff: Ashley Smith, Doug Hanson, and on-air personality J-Rod.

Together these groups had a lot of fun but more importantly made a difference in our community by taking an afternoon out of their busy lives to help those who could not help themselves.

Bellew said, “The Youth Advisory Committee of the Jackson Community Foundation were honored to participate in such a worthwhile event. One of our goals is to encourage youth philanthropy in our community and this was a perfect fit!”
Special thanks go out to event sponsor Extreme Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram for providing a meetup space and vehicles to transport the volunteers and equipment, as well as Stihl for providing backpack leaf blowers to make the volunteers’ jobs a little easier. Lunch for the volunteers was generously donated by Klavon’s, another great community partner. Emmons Service generously offered to dispose of leaf bags in areas where leaf pick-up is not offered.

Yards cleaned up: 6
Hours spent: 4
Volunteers: 16
Leaf bags filled: 60

WION Advertisers Invest in Student Leaders

via Jim Carlyle, WION:

Surrounded by “Link Crew” students, WION co-owner/General Manager Jim Carlyle presents a $500 check to Ionia High School Crew Link advisor Jennifer Jockheck.

On October 12 at the Ionia Bulldog Homecoming game, WION Radio (Ionia) once again teamed-up with the “Link Crew” of Ionia High School to broadcast from their fundraising tailgate. The Link Crew is a national organization with chapters in many schools that welcomes freshmen and helps with the transition to high school. The group’s members also promote school spirit activities and leadership.

As in past years, WION secured sponsors for this broadcast which aired the week ahead of the fun, and for each sponsor, WION donated $25 to the organization. A $500 check was presented to Mrs. Jockeck, one of the advisors to Ionia’s Link Crew during the tailgate broadcast.

WION and it’s sponsors were thanked for this donation, and told “We will use (the funds) to go to the leadership conference again.” In past years this donation has helped students to attend leadership training, which WION believes is money well spent, often on the air calling it an “investment in our shared future.”

The station, now in it’s 14th year as “I-1430” with current owners Jim Carlyle and Jim Aaron, while small in staff, is deeply dedicated to local involvement, the betterment of community and it’s excellent AM stereo sound, heard worldwide on the web.

WOMC Raises $114K for Beaumont Hospital

(L-R) WOMC’s JoAnne Purtan and Stephen Clark

On September 27, Entercom’s WOMC-FM aired a 13-hour radiothon to benefit  Beaumont Children’s Hospital.   The broadcast took place from the South Tower Concourse of the hospital and was anchored by WOMC personalities Stephen Clark, JoAnne Purtan, Jim Johnson and Beau Daniels.  They were joined by special guests and other station airstaff.

More than 500 donors contributed to the radiothon, which raised money for children’s programs.  44 listeners became Miracle Makers by pledging a $20 on-going monthly donation.

Some of the initiatives that will benefit from the funding include a student robot that will allow a patient to virtually attend school classes while in the hospital, the NoBLE anti-bullying campaign, Beau plush bears given to children in Beaumont hospitals and music and pet therapies.

Lansing’s Midwest Communicatons, WSYM-TV Team Up for Teddy Bear Posse

The radio stations of Midwest Communications/Lansing: WWDK-FM (94.1 Duke FM), WLMI-FM (i92.9), WJXQ-FM (Q106 FM) & WQTX-FM (Fuel 92.1) have joined up with WSYM-TV (Lansing) to launch the annual Teddy Bear Posse campaign in Mid-Michigan!

The campaign is to collect new teddy bears and stuffed animals for local law enforcement agencies and first responders. These agency use the teddy bears to comfort small children involved in traumatic events and situations.

Collection boxes are located throughout the Mid-Michigan area for listeners and viewers to drop off teddy bears.  The collection effort continues through September 23.

WZZM-TV, Kendall College Design ArtPrize News Set

WZZM-TV (Grand Rapids) has gotten into the spirit of the city’s annual ArtPrize event for the fourth year in a row, teaming up with Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) to create not just a news desk like in years past, but a fully functional performance space that is also an entry in the competition.

“ArtPrize is so unique – there is nothing else like it,” said Janet Mason,  WZZM-TV President and General Manager. “The artwork and conversations with the artists stimulate the senses, and at the same time, we get to show off our beautiful, vibrant city. We are proud to be a partner of ArtPrize and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.”

This year the station wanted to do something different, to move beyond the desk and create a performance space, so once again they turned to KCAD, their artistic partner over the years.

KCAD Professor Bob Marsh said, “I am truly appreciative of the relationship that has been fostered between WZZM and KCAD. The opportunity to work with a client, consider a budget, deal with the logistics of fabrication, and have the work realized by a set deadline are relevant and exceptional experiences to have as an undergraduate art major.”

Artist Emma Riley began working on the project months ago under the supervision of Professor Marsh. She is a junior studying Sculpture and Functional Art. She has skills in stone and wood carving, clay and metal fabrication, and various mold making techniques which made this project perfect for her.

“I was thrilled and nervous about the project,” said Emma. “This partnership exposed me to working with a budget as well as a federal entity; it sharpened my time-management and problem-solving skills and enhanced my self-confidence and level of professionalism. I’m really delighted at how everything turned out and I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with 13 ON YOUR SIDE.”

The piece transforms the interior of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum into a garden space from which WZZM talent can broadcast the news. There are various performance areas as well as a space encouraging interaction with the audience.

The installation can be found on the second floor of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum and will serve as the news set for WZZM-TV throughout the event.

Visitors are encouraged to come out and visit with talent and staff and watch the news in action. They may even get a chance to be on TV.

For the second year in a row, the set is an official entry in the ArtPrize competition: http://www.artprize.org/67764.

WILX-TV Teams Up with Red Cross for Hurricane Victims

On September 17, Gray Television’s WILX-TV (Lansing)  raised over $3,500 for the American Red Cross over the phone and through the station’s website.

WILX teamed up with the Red Cross to provide a phone line to viewers and a specific time to call in for donations for people affected by Hurricane Florence.

Callers helped News 10 to raise $3,280 for the storm victims, with another $260 coming through the web.

Ninety-one cents of every dollar goes to relief efforts, said Kelly King, executive director of the Red Cross Mid-Michigan Chapter.

Those still wishing to participate can visit the WILX Red Cross donation site to donate.