Category Archives: Connecting to Local Communities

Follow-Up: WION’s ‘Treasures for Troops’ Sends 260 Boxes to Deployed Soldiers

This is a follow-up to an article that appeared in MAB NewsBriefs two weeks ago.

In it’s fifth year of the annual event, WION-AM’s (Ionia) “Treasures for Troops” has provided Michigan Chapter #188 of the Blue Star Mothers with enough collections for more packages to go overseas than any other year since the drive began! Last year, 200 boxes went out, and before that in 2016, 188. Each year the effort has been excellent but this year, the goal of 250 was exceeded!

This year’s record mailing is to the credit of all donors, and due in part to the addition of WGLM (WION’s Sister Station promoting it in Montcalm County) and Lowell High School’s student-run radio station, WWRW helping by spreading the word on the air, and actively collecting in the High School.

The Young Automotive Group Ionia has sponsored this drive each year, and this year provided a Chevy Traverse in which to load each day’s collections and protect them from the weather in-transit. The donations were sorted at the H.O. Steele Building on M-66, and on Sunday November 18th, the Blue Star Mothers’ chapter boxed the proceeds which were then sent from the Saranac post office on Monday November 19th, making it what we believe may be a “record” day for the small town post office as well.

The Blue Star Mothers Chapter #188 of Ionia, Kent and Montcalm Counties, WION, WGLM, WRWW and Young Automotive want to thank each and everyone who signed cards and letters, donated time, money for postage or for items and encouragement!

“Its a true community effort” said Jim Carlyle, Co-Owner/Manager at WION who says, “We look forward to this drive each year, and will reach out to our radio partners and to West Central Michigan for this great cause again in 2019”.

WCZY/WMMI Mt. Pleasant Fills a Mayflower!

Latitude Media’s WCZY-FM/WMMI-AM/FM (Mt. Pleasant) filled a Mayflower moving van November 16, raising over 4,800 non-perishable food items and close to a record of $8,000 in  donations, surpassing what the station raised in 2017.

“The magic continues to be made and we love our community for their love,” said Latitude Media Owner/GM Bob Peters.

“United Way is blown away by the amount of community support that we received through this year’s Fill-a-Mayflower event. Thank You to the donors, community partners and volunteers who all contributed to making this a successful event! Because of the generosity of those involved, our community members in need will have food on the table during this holiday season,” said Annie Sanders, President of United Way of Isabella & Gratiot Counties.

WLUC, WDBC, WYKX Team Up For Annual Can-a-thon


WLUC-TV (Marquette) teamed up with WDBC-AM/WYKX-FM (Escanaba) for their annual Can-a-thon drive.
  Collections took place at four locations in the Gladstone and Escanaba areas.

While officials don’t have any final numbers at this point they are saying that thanks to the generosity of area residents and the efforts of dozens of volunteers, it appears that the effort could result in a record year.

WLUC has held the Can-a-thon annually since 1982.

“There is a ton of people that are actually donating. It speaks testaments to the folks that are in this community who are really coming forward to help these folks,” said KIX Country 104.7’s Mike Canull.

Volunteers collected donations at four locations throughout the coverage area from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday. Those locations are Elmer’s County Market, Sav-Mor IGA and Walmart in Escanaba and Pat’s Foods in Gladstone.

Craig Woerpel is with WDBC and KIX Country 104.7 and said that despite the cold weather, everyone loves lending a hand.

“It is cold. It is damp. But those guys, they’re out there collecting foods, having a good time talking with people. Handing out pop to those that donate and just having a good time. It feels good to be able to help people.”

WLEN Hosts 13th Annual ‘Thank a Vet’ Day

(L-R) Kathy Williams, Marketing Specialist for WLEN; Elizabeth Salerno, Executive Director, Housing Help of Lenawee; Julie Koehn President & General Manager of Lenawee Broadcasting Company/WLEN; Suzanne Miller, AVP Marketing, TLC Community Credit Union and Abi Noe, VP Housing Help of Lenawee.

On November 9, WLEN-FM (Adrian) hosted it’s 13th Annual Thank a Vet Day. This day is in celebration of Veterans Day and is an event to raise funds and awareness for homeless and other veterans in need in Lenawee County.

$29,617.40 was raised in 12 hours for the “Veterans Dire Need Fund” distributed through Housing Help of Lenawee. WLEN staff, local veterans’ organizations and area business people stood curbside and collected funds to support local veterans; these funds are distributed throughout the year to local veterans for assistance with rent, mortgage payments to avoid foreclosure, utility bills, rental facilities to store possessions when they are displaced, transportation stipends and for things as simple as a pair of boots to secure employment.

Again, this year TLC Community Credit Union joined WLEN with a matching funds program, matching donations to the Happy Hundred Club by 50 percent, which raised an additional $8,000 from TLC. To date over $200,000 has been raised in this event and distributed to local veterans in Lenawee County.

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.