Topic: Health Awareness Campaigns
For the staff of KWXX-FM, KPUA-AM and KNWB-FM in Hilo, Hawaii, supporting the American Heart Association is truly a matter from the heart. When the founder of the broadcast group passed away from a heart attack a few years ago, his son, General Manager Chris Leonard, made a commitment to help others. He wanted to do more than encourage the stationsí listeners to become involved; he wanted the station to actively participate. All three stations became annual media sponsors of the American Heart Associationís Hilo Heart Walk. Hundreds of promotional spots and live mentions are used to encourage residents to form teams each year. Combined, the stations donate at least $10,000 worth of airtime. Experts in heart disease appear on the stationsí public affairs shows, and the stationsí Web sites provide information to listeners on how to get involved. In 2008, morning show personality D.C. from KNWB hosted the walk, which raised more than $140,000. Leonard, who has been the top individual fundraiser for the walk for the past two years, spoke at the American Heart Associationís Community Leader Luncheon about how heart disease has touched his life on a personal and professional level. "My hope is that someone else doesnít go through what Iíve gone through," said Leonard. "If we only reach a handful of people, it is worth it. But I think we are reaching far more than that."
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