Topic: Neighbors in Need
Being icy cold normally doesn’t help anyone, but dozens of people helped save a life when they jumped into a lake in the middle of winter as part of a fundraiser put on by KOGA-AM of Ogallala, Neb. The event benefited Allison Jones, a local 16-year-old in need of a heart transplant. For the operation, Jones would have to move to Denver for eight months, but her family didn’t have the funds needed. Along with the teenager’s high school, the station sponsored the "Allison Jones Lake Jump Benefit," which raised $14,500 for the Jones family. After the local dive and rescue squad cut through a layer of ice more than one foot thick, hundreds of warmly-dressed spectators cheered on 50 brave souls as each jumped into the frigid lake. The station capitalized on the novelty of the event by dedicating a Web page, discussing the event regularly on air, conducting interviews with other high school students and airing a live broadcast from the event with local celebrities. Sixty-five hours were contributed by KOGA staff members. "We are truly blessed by everyone’s efforts," said Allison’s mother. KOGA was a National Association of Broadcasters’ Crystal Award Finalist in 2008.
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