The Zone Corporation’s Maine-based stations, WZON-AM, WKIT-FM and WZON-FM, owned by Stephen and Tabitha King, raised $241,820 for the Help Keep ME Warm This Winter campaign, shattering the original goal of $140,000. Fundraising efforts began after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services notified Maine Housing to expect $23 million in heating assistance funds this winter, down from $55.6 million last year.
As part of the fundraising effort, morning show host Pat LaMarche spent a week living in a small wooden shed outside the studio in November to raise awareness. In early December, the Lerner Foundation gave $46,000 toward the cause and listeners donated $24,000.
King had agreed to match up to $70,000 in donations, but that changed when an anonymous donor from California called to donate $50,000, with the condition that King do the same, to which King agreed.
“Tabby and I are grateful to everybody who worked to provide heat to people in our area who have come up short,” King said. “Hopefully next year there will be less need and more help from the state and local governments.”