Topic: Youth-Focused Initiatives
For two days every year, WJLS-AM/FM in Beckley, W.Va., breaks from its regular format and switches to non-stop talk about St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Now in its fourth year, the WJLS-hosted radiothon brings awareness of St. Jude’s lifesaving work to listeners while raising funds to help the hospital continue to treat children from West Virginia and across the country regardless of their ability to pay. Cancer, in some way, touches all families, which is why the station decided to make a strong commitment to the campaign. To put the radiothon on its listeners’ radars, the station runs a heavy schedule of public service announcements leading up to the event. On-air time is also donated to support "Battle of the Banks," where listeners are encouraged to drop off their spare change at buckets located in local bank lobbies in support of St. Jude. In 2008, the WJLS radiothon brought in $56,000. "As we were doing the final countdown, it was amazing. During that last hour we really put the rubber on the road, and donations surged," said Bill O’Brien from WJLS. "To have that much money raised in a small town and a weak economy was really heartwarming."
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