Category Archives: Connecting to Local Communities

WION Sends “Treasures for Troops”

WION "Treasures for Troops" volunteers.
WION “Treasures for Troops” volunteers.

WION-AM/FM Radio (Ionia) and its many partners hosted the 3rd annual “Treasures for Troops” campaign, November 28-December 2, setting a new record and sending “more packages than ever” to deployed service personnel before Christmas.

WION Remote Broadcast Wrap-up of "Treasures for Troops"
WION Remote Broadcast Wrap-up of “Treasures for Troops”

Through drop-off locations in Ionia County and five daily broadcasts originating from locations around the Ionia area, WION co-owner Jim Carlyle reports that this year’s drive exceeded expectations!  At the end of the event, WION listeners had contributed enough items for event partner Blue Star Mothers #188 to prepare, package and mail 181 large priority-mail boxes to servicemen and women via the Ionia Post Office.

Blue Star Mothers #188 is a local chapter of a nationwide organization of mothers, stepmothers, grandmothers, foster mothers and female legal guardians who have children serving in the military, guard or reserves, or children who are veterans.  Blue Star Mothers pack these care packages (“Boxes of Love”) throughout the year to support their military sons and daughters. Each time they pack and send, an average of 20-30 boxes are mailed.

"Treasures for Troops" await shipping at the Ionia Post Office
“Treasures for Troops” await shipping at the Ionia Post Office

Items included, though seemingly ordinary to civilians, are often hard to come by for deployed soldiers. Each box carries a variety of items including food, clothing, games, utility items and personal care items. Meanwhile, each Mom has a “trademark” way of packing their boxes, like using small candies like packing peanuts to make sure no space is wasted between items. The boxes of love that were sent out with WION’s “Treasures for Troops” also contained Christmas cards that were decorated at elementary schools and by boy scouts, girls scouts, listeners and volunteers assisting on packing day.

The station had a 2016 GMC truck to help transport donations, provided by sponsor Young Automotive Group of Ionia.

With this success, Carlyle notes that once again, it’s proven that small-town radio makes a huge difference!

For more information contact: Jim Carlyle, Owner/Manager WION Radio at 616-527-9466 or

WWJ Radio and Detroit Police Present Sergeant Santa

wwj-santa_300CBS Radio’s WWJ-AM (Detroit) has teamed up with the Detroit Police Department, XFINITY and Faygo to present “Sergeant Santa,” an effort to collect toys for children who never have the chance to really experience holiday cheer.

The station is encouraging listeners to drop off a new, unwrapped toy or make a monetary donation for the cause.  Donations may be made at any Detroit Police Department Precinct or the Midtown Detroit, Troy or Plymouth XFINITY Stores by Comcast, through December 12.

“WWJ is very happy to continue our partnership with the Detroit Police Department for Sergeant Santa,” said CBS Radio/Detroit SVP/Market Manager Debbie Kenyon.  “WWJ looks forward to helping bring holiday cheer to Detroit children each year.”

Toys will be distributed on December 15 by Detroit Police Chief James Craig (aka “Chief Kringle”), WWJ Midday Host Jackie Paige and others.

WDVD Raises $100,000 During “Cares for Kids Radiothon”

(L-R) WDVD Blaine Fowler Morning Show talent Lauren Crocker, Blaine Fowler and Joe Santos, live at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak

On November 17, Cumulus Media’s WDVD-FM (Detroit) held a day-long radiothon to benefit all Beaumont Hospital’s Children patients through Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

The hospital provides advanced care for thousands of children from Southeast Michigan and beyond.

WDVD’s Blain Fowler, from the Blaine Fowler Morning Show, along with the entire station airstaff broadcast live from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The event raised $100,000, benefiting 140,000 children.  Margaret Cooney Casey, Chief Development Officer for Beaumont Health said, “This year’s 96.3 WDVD Cares for Kids Radiothon was a great success as listeners from our radio partner reached out to help the families in our community that rely on Beaumont Children’s for programs and services. Not only were we fortunate to have both patient families talk about the great care they received, but a number of major donors joined us as well to talk about why them made significant investments in programs impacting the metro Detroit community.”

Jackson’s K-105.3 is Stuffing the Van

k-1053_300Jackson Radio Works’ WKHM-FM (K-105.3) (Jackson) is holding a “Stuff the Van” food drive this Thursday, November 17 to collected canned and non-perishable foods for the Jackson Community Food Pantry.

The drive is being held in conjunction with the station’s Thanksgiving “Grocery Bagging Race” contest being held at a local grocery store.  The contest features two contestants drawn from entries who will go head-to-head to bag a cart full of Thanksgiving groceries.  The person who bags all their groceries first will win the entire cart full of items.

For more information, visit the station’s website here.

WYTZ Holds 20th Annual Stuff-A-Truck Food Drive

WYTZ staff all set and ready to go this past Monday (11/14)

This week (November 14-19), Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s WYTZ-FM (Benton Harbor) is holding its 20th annual “Stuff-A-Truck” food drive in Southwest Michigan.

The “Stuff-a-Truck” food drive helps the local community by providing necessary items to families in need. All donations will go to the Southwest Michigan Community Action Agency in Benton Harbor. Donations will stay in Southwest Michigan.The Southwest Michigan Community Action Agency’s mission is to assist people in economic need and enable them to achieve and sustain self-sufficiency, while respecting their diversity.

The station is broadcasting live daily, all day long, at a local grocery store in St. Joseph.  State and Community Leaders have been asked to stop by and add their support to the food drive.  Listeners of the station are asked to come out to the live broadcast to donate food items as well as make monetary donations to the cause!

The station has also coordinated with area schools, who have chosen to participate by collecting food for the cause.



WZZM-TV (Grand Rapids) Prepares Sack Suppers for Make a Difference Day

wzzm-1_702wzzm-1_225One in five children in Michigan is affected by hunger. The team at TEGNA-owned WZZM-TV was inspired by that statistic to volunteer at Kids’ Food Basket, as part of Make a Difference Day (MADDay) on October 22. The WZZM staff, their friends and family members prepared snacks to go into sack suppers for thousands of children in West Michigan who cannot depend on an evening meal at home each night. Kids’ Food Basket delivers those sack suppers to more than 7,400 children in Kent, Ottawa and Muskegon Counties EACH DAY.

wzzm-2_225The MADDay event also collected more than 100,000 paper lunch bags, into which the meals are packed. The bags were lovingly decorated by families, school classes, church groups and others who want to show their love to a group of kids who so richly deserve it. Make a Difference Day is one of the largest annual single days of service nationwide. WZZM’s parent company, TEGNA, was supported by the Arby’s Foundation and Points of Light in making this year’s campaign possible.

Make a Difference Day unites volunteers from across the country with a common mission: to improve the lives of others through a wide range of community-driven service projects.
wzzm-kids_400“Make a Difference Day volunteering has become a tradition for WZZM 13 employees,” said Janet Mason, WZZM 13 President & General Manager. “It’s a wonderful way to give back to the communities we serve.”

Additional information can be found at

Cumulus Media Hosts Grand Rapids Job Expo

cumulusmediaThis past Saturday (10/15), Cumulus Media (Grand Rapids) hosted The West Michigan Employment Expo at the city’s DeltaPlex.  More than 35 local employers were on hand for the job fair.

The goal of the expo was to bring area employers to one location for a “one-stop shop” for job seekers.  This was the third job expo the company has put on in the last year.

“We want to attract quality employers who are thinking long-term,” said Rich Berry, sales director, Cumulus Media Grand Rapids. “We want to also let people know that at many of these companies, there is long-term room for advancement and that’s a good thing.”

The majority of the employers are seeking entry-level positions, but many also are looking for employees who can learn more advanced skills and turn entry-level roles into long-term careers.

Lansing Radio Hosts Wear Pink for Breast Cancer

via Haley Nelson, WILX-TV (Lansing) – Reprinted with permission.

It’s a fashion statement a group of men hope will grab your attention.

They are the ‘Real Men Wear Pink of Lansing,” a group of radio hosts, community leaders, business owners and more, all wearing wearing pink every single day this month in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

wilx_300“When everybody rallies together and pulls in the same direction it is remarkable how the recovery process can really accelerate,” says one of the men wearing pink, Ryan Schuiling, host of The Schuiling Report on the WQTX-FM (Team 92.1 FM).

The goal is to not only raise awareness, but to raise funds for the American Cancer Society’s “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” event.

“Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Lansing is the accumulation of many teams fundraising year round,” says the program’s community manager Katie Jones.

The walk is coming up this Saturday at the State Capitol, so the men are ramping up their efforts to fundraise.

“Anything you can do makes a difference, if that is a dollar, if that’s $300,” says Bob Hoffman of the Wharton Center, who is also wearing pink all month long.

“Cancer strikes our community, it strikes our neighborhoods,” says Hoffman, “it strikes our loved ones, and so it is important to give.”

“If we can start the conversation about anything, then we can make some progress in what we want to achieve,” says another man wearing pink, Mojo an afternoon host at WJXQ-FM (Q106).

They say it is the least they can do.

“It doesn’t take courage to wear pink, it takes courage to fight cancer,” says Mojo.

So far, the men have raised over $10,000 and they hope to up that number.

There is some friendly competition here, each hoping to raise the most money.

Some of the men did have to head to the store to buy some pink shirts to make it through the month.

WION Awards High School Group $500

Surrounded by Ionia High School Link Crew students are (far left) WION personality Popeye John; to his right WION co-owner/General Manager Jim Carlyle presenting the $500 check to Ionia High School Crew Link advisor Jennifer Jockheck (in blue sweatshirt).

WION-AM (and FM translator) (Ionia) recently awarded Ionia High School student group “Link Crew” $500, made possible by local advertisers during the station’s live “tailgate” broadcast before homecoming at the school.

“Link Crew” is a student leadership and mentoring organization.

As station co-owner and General Manager Jim Carlyle explains: “Popeye John of WION started his Friday night weekly classic rock show from the school, finishing the night at the WION studios with game updates provided by game attendees.”  Carlyle and Penny Beeman assisted with the broadcast.

The $500 came from twenty sponsors of the homecoming tailgate broadcast and will be used by the Link Crew to fund attendance and transportation for an upcoming leadership conference.

Carlyle adds that “WION thanks Ionia Public Schools and Link Crew advisors for the opportunity to be a part of what they do.  Everyone wins when we communicate and work together and the station looks forward to more great events this year on the radio with Ionia Public Schools.”

WDIV’s Help Me Hank: The School Project

wdiv_700WDIV-TV (Detroit) (Local 4) has embarked on “Help Me Hank: The School Project,” a 10-month commitment to better the physical environment of Thurgood Marshall Elementary-Middle School in Detroit.

The station partnered with the Detroit Public School Community District to identify a school that was in crucial need of building renovations. Thurgood Marshall Elementary-Middle School is home to nearly 700 students and dedicated faculty and staff.

“As a reporter in Detroit for the last 16 years, I’ve seen school children and teachers trying to learn and teach in appalling conditions and it is unacceptable,” said “Help Me Hank” Consumer Reporter Hank Winchester. “‘Help Me Hank: The School Project’ is not about who is to blame for the state of the schools, but how we, as a community, can work with our generous friends and the people of the school district to create a better physical learning environment for the young and curious students of Thurgood Marshall.”

The cafeteria and front office were the first targets for renovations. Hire It Done and PPG Paint donated time, materials and people to transform the cafeteria and main office.

“Right now the gymnasium doesn’t have bleachers. There are two-by-fours on top of paint buckets for people to sit,” said Kim Voet, news director. “The gymnasium, media center and ways to improve technology are the next big things on our list.”

“The school mascot is a dolphin and there was not one dolphin in the building. When our friends from Fathead provided dolphin decals for the cafeteria, we could see the excitement from the faculty, staff, parents and students. We can’t wait to do so much more over the next school year,” said Winchester.

“Building quality is important to student outcomes. There’s a real sense of pride that comes from being in an updated, safe and physically attractive learning environment. Local 4 is headquartered in Detroit and the schools of this city are our neighbors and are educating our future leaders,” said Marla Drutz, Local 4 vice president and general manager.

“Help Me Hank: The School Project” reports will be featured all school year on Local 4 News and ClickOnDetroit. Please click here for a link to the first report on September 13.