Category Archives: Connecting to Local Communities

WLEN Raises Over $2,000 for Lenawee American Cancer Society Relay for Life

Over 100 pies were donated from local businesses and celebrities and were auctioned off at the 19th annual 103.9 WLEN-FM (Adrian) Pie Auction. $2,572 was raised for the Lenawee American Cancer Society Relay For Life.

The auction was held June 20.

One sponsor, County National Bank, donated $2.50 for every pie sold up to $250 to support Lenawee Relay For Life.

What exactly is Relay For Life? Their website,, describes Relay For Life as: “… a team fundraising event where team members take turns walking around a track or designated path. Each event is 6-24 hours in length and each team is asked to have a member on the track at all times to signify that cancer never sleeps.

WLEN is thanking their listeners for once again supporting the Lenawee American Cancer Society Relay For Life.

WJRT-TV Wins NABEF Service to America Award

WJRT-TV (Flint) was the recipient of a National Association of Broadcasters Educational Foundation Service to America Award, honoring the station’s dedication to serving its community through an annual Diaper Drive.

The award ceremonies were held in Washington, D.C. on June 12.

The award recognizes outstanding community service by local broadcasters.

WJRT’s Angie Hendershot accepted the award alongside news director Jayne Hodak and Flint’s U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee (MI-5). WJRT general manager Pete Veto was also in attendance.

See video of Hendershot accepting the award here.

In Genesee County, 4,500 children under age 3 live below the poverty line. Because state and federal assistance cannot be used to buy diapers, many of these children are forced to stay in the same diaper for days at a time.

The day-long Diaper Drive collects donations of diapers, wipes and cash to help the Flint Diaper Bank supply more than 1 million diapers to local babies every year.

WBET Raises $104k for United Way

Swick Broadcasting’s WBET-FM (Sturgis) has announced that it recently raised $104,330 for the United Way of St. Joseph County, during an 18-hour radio marathon that featured local officials and community business leaders as guest DJs.  The Radiothon was held on May 24.

“We are so proud of our local St. Joseph County listeners for their generosity in supporting the United Way,” stated Steve Swick, Chief Executive Officer of Swick Broadcasting and Local Radio Networks. “Local radio is the heart of the community, and everybody wants the thrill of being a DJ. Our local dignitaries had lots of fun on-air during this special charity drive, and our listeners clearly loved it and responded with their kind donations.”

WDET To Offer Free Airtime to Non-Profits Through Kyle’s Challenge

WDET-FM (Detroit) and The Kyle John Foundation are awarding $25,000 in promotional support to five, youth-focused nonprofits.

Five organizations will receive $5,000 of free airtime on WDET.  One non-profit (Soar Detroit) was already chosen by the Kyle John Foundation, but listeners of the station have been invited to vote to choose the remaining organizations.

Soar Detroit will kick off the Kyle’s Challenge on-air awareness campaign on the station on June 25.

Gary Cone and Aimée Cowher, founders of The Kyle John Foundation believe in the impact of WDET and the collective ability to make a real difference. They have made a very generous gift to WDET as a challenge to get listeners involved in a Community Impact Campaign that can improve the lives of thousands of young people in Southeast Michigan.

For more information on the project, click here.

WILX-TV Offers Elementary Students A Chance to Explore Broadcast Journalism Careers

Gray Television’s WILX-TV (Lansing) recently offered elementary school children the chance to see what life as a television anchor or reporter would be like.

The station participated in a career day at Oakwood Elementary School in Portland, Michigan.

WILX’s Clayton Cummins gave students the chance to get in front of the camera and try anchoring for themselves along with getting a look inside the WILX live truck.

The event was held May 22.

WRSR-FM Helps Local Food Bank Find Volunteers

Video from WJRT-TV

On May 23, Krol Communication’s WRSR-FM (Flint) helped the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan with a live broadcast encouraging people to come in and volunteer to help sort food.

This initiative was launched by the band Metallica and organized locally by 103.9 The Fox morning hosts Johnny Burke and Lisa Marie.

“They have their All Within My Hands Foundation and decided a few months ago that they wanted to do National Day of Service and encourage all of their fans to donate time to their local food banks. We heard about it and jumped on board for sure,” Marie told WJRT-TV news.

An open call was put out to anyone and everyone to just drop by the Food Bank and lend a hand for an hour.

“It’s huge because leading into the summer, people are on vacation and traveling, they go north for the weekend. We struggle with getting people to come in to volunteer and sort food for the agencies,” said Food Bank of Eastern Michigan Development Director Cathy Blankenship.

The Food Bank estimates that 60 minutes of volunteerism will make a major impact on its service area of 22 counties.

“This sorting can be broken down and we can say that 335 people will eat because of your hour of service here,” said Blankenship.

The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan hopes that Metallica’s day of service will leave a long lasting impression and that all of these volunteers are inspired to return.

WXYZ-TV Welcomes the Brightest and Best High School Seniors


On May 12, WXYZ-TV (Detroit) held its 39th annual “Brightest and Best” celebration, at the station’s studios to recognize the academic achievements of local graduating high school seniors.

For more than three decades, WXYZ has welcomed graduates and their families for a morning of celebration.

Students were also able to take part in a Twitter Scavenger Hunt.

The list required them to run around the grounds, mingle with WXYZ reporters and anchors, and snap photos. They took over social media with their adventures and you can get a recap by checking out the hashtag #BrightestAndBest on Twitter.

WRIF Serves Up Drinks For A Great Cause

Beasley Media Group’s WRIF-FM (Detroit) has been partnering with the The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) which works to treat and cure Type 1 Diabetes. This charity is particularly important to WRIF Music Director Jade Springart, who has Type 1 Diabetes.

Starting in 2017, WRIF put together a “Charity Bartending” Event where Jade spent a few hours behind the bar at a local establishment and collected tips to go to support JDRF. Moving forward to 2018, 101 WRIF reached out to JDRF again about the opportunity to host the event again, and this year was able to “step the event up a notch”!

Prior to the event, Jade had been able to connect with Chris Jericho, of the WWE and also the singer for the rock band Fozzy, about being involved with this year’s bartending event. Chris is also a supporter of JDRF as his family has also been affected by Type 1 Diabetes. In her conversations with him about getting some autographed items to use for the event, the conversation led to him offering to come to the event and jump behind the bar with her and raise money to support JDRF.

On Friday, March 30, Chris Jericho’s band, Fozzy, played a sold-out show in Detroit at St. Andrews Hall. That day starting at 4 p.m., 101 WRIF hosted a party a few blocks away from the venue at The Checker Bar Detroit. 101 WRIF’s Jade Springart and Riff Rock Girl Kara took over the bar starting at 4 pm to start serving drinks for charity. From 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., 100 percent of all the tips that they received as well as 10 percent of the sales for the bar went directly to JDRF. Additionally, 101 WRIF hosted a silent auction featuring items such as a WWE Folding Chair, signed Fozzy Posters, signed drumheads and photos from various other bands, a “Ticket To Rock” package with tickets to over a dozen shows coming to Detroit this year, and more. In addition to Jade and Rock Girl Kara, some of the other WRIF staff came out to support or made donations to JDRF, including Anne Carlini, Andy Green from Dave & Chuck The Freak, and Meltdown.

Aside from the WRIF staff on hand, the band Through Fire, who was also performing at St. Andrews that night, showed up to support the event and the charity. At 5 p.m., the special guest for the day, Chris Jericho, arrived to work “his shift” serving up drinks to Detroiters for this great cause. Chris jumped right behind the bar with Jade and Kara, and started serving excited patrons. He took the time to speak to all the people lined up at the bar as well as signing items and taking selfies, and collecting tips for the JDRF tip jar. Additionally, he and Jade jumped on the microphone and hooked up some very lucky listeners at the bar with tickets to the sold-out show that night. Initially only planning to stay about a half hour, Chris graciously stayed over an hour at the event and took the time to speak to the couple hundred people that worked their way into the Checker Bar that afternoon.

Over the course of the three-hour event, Jade, Chris Jericho and The WRIF Staff were able to raise over $2800 for Juvenile Diabetes Research. Following the event that day and the Fozzy show that evening, Chris Jericho also “tweeted” Jade that someone at his show that evening made a donation of an additional $1,000 to JDRF while they were performing onstage.

101 WRIF looks forward to the future of being able to “serve up some drinks” and help in the mission that JDRF has set forth to end Type 1 Diabetes!

WILX-TV Raises Over $800,000 on ‘Day of Miracles’ Telethon

On Friday, April 20, WILX-TV (Lansing) devoted its broadcast day to raising funds for the Sparrow Hospital Children’s Center annual “Day of Miracles.”

The station broadcast live from the center throughout the day, with interviews and patient stories.   The station also pre-empted its evening prime-time programming from 7 to 11:00 p.m. with a 4-hour live telethon.

As of press time, more than $800,000 was raised in this year’s event.