Topic: Disaster Relief and Recovery
When record flooding claimed lives and property, WIZM-AM in LaCrosse, Wis., organized a community fund drive, which generated more than $395,000 in individual and corporate donations in a single day. The station enlisted the help of all local radio, television and newspapers for the 12-hour event, which provided emergency assistance to area flood victims through the American Red Cross. Shortly after the flood hit, WIZM began airing announcements encouraging listeners to help. A heavy schedule of news stories and interviews highlighted the most urgent needs. On the day of the collection, WIZM personalities filled buckets with monetary donations from the community from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Three remotes featuring donors and volunteers aired every hour throughout the day. The next morning, the station conducted a follow-up interview with the local Red Cross. The relief funds provided shelter, food, water, clean-up supplies and comfort kits to those in need. WIZM was a 2008 National Association of Broadcasters Crystal Award winner.
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