Local Stations. Big Impact.

WLTF-FM Creates Christmas for Area Children

Topic: Youth-Focused Initiatives

When Norm Slemenda, general manager of WLTF-FM in Martinsburg, W.Va., learned that needy children in the area wouldn’t be receiving holiday assistance, he immediately got to work with his staff. Starting that morning, every time the broadcast went live, on-air personalities asked listeners for toys and donations. In a day and a half, three SUVs were stuffed with toys and thousands of dollars had been raised. Wanting a head start for the next holiday season, the station launched its inaugural "Christmas in July" campaign in 2007. Prettyman Broadcasting sister stations WEPM-AM and WICL-FM joined the effort. For 36 hours, morning host Stacy Drake provided live updates from a local bank that acted as headquarters for the summer toy drive. Slemenda was nearby, dressed in a Santa suit and collecting donations. Five months later, all three stations supported the "Christmas Cash for Kids" campaign to complete the year-long effort. In total, more than $12,000, new bikes, toys and clothing were donated for 200 children in the Eastern Panhandle. "Without this program, these kids would not have had any presents," said Jan Callen of the local United Way. "Prettyman Broadcasting truly made a difference."

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