The stations of Big Radio concluded their annual holiday charity fundraising events on Dec. 10 with results that will help their local communities in southern Wisconsin.
Station in the group include WCLO 1230AM, 105.9 WWHG, WJVL 99.9 FM, 101.9 WGEZ and 92.3, and 98.9 WBEL (The Beat).
The events included an online auction of items generously donated by local businesses and a 12-hour “Kids Helping Kids” donation drive, both supported by Blain’s Farm and Fleet stores. Both events combined to raise more than $7,900 in cash plus a truckload of toys, food, and other items. All proceeds from the events will be split between E.C.H.O. and the Rock County Salvation Army.
This year’s “Big Radio Twelve Hour Auction” event, sponsored by Blain’s Farm and Fleet and K&W Greenery, raised more than $5,600 for the charities. Some of the donated items included tools, lawn and garden equipment, automobile tires and service, toys, a chartered flight around Janesville, and gift certificates.
On Dec. 3, companies that participated with donations were invited on each of the five Big Radio stations. They were each given times within a designated hour on air to discuss their donated item and business, with their item’s auction ending at the end of their hour.
“This online charity auction has increased the number of dollars we’ve been able to raise for the charities nearly threefold and we are very pleased with the results,” Big Radio’s Tim Bremel said. “It was a lot of fun for both the participants and the sponsors. Planning has already begun to find ways to increase the donations with next year’s event.”
On Dec. 10, Big Radio partnered with Blain’s Farm and Fleet’s “Kids Helping Kids” toy drive for a 12-hour donation drive. The event held at Janesville’s Farm and Fleet, featured a contactless drive-through where people could drop off new toys, non-perishable food, and cash donations. Big Radio and Blain’s Farm and Fleet staff along with members of the Salvation Army and E.C.H.O. collected items throughout the day from shoppers and drive-by benefactors. The stations also provided live broadcasts to promote the event throughout the day.
“Despite the less-than-ideal weather, the turnout for the event was terrific,” Bremel said. “The community really stepped it up and we were able to exceed expectations again this year.”
The annual event raised more than $1,600 in cash donations this year plus a truck load of toys, food, and other necessities to help brighten the holidays of some area residents in need.
“We are very thankful to all of our sponsor partners for making it possible for Big Radio to help give back to our community,” station owner and General Manager Ben Thompson said. “We are especially grateful to all the folks who came out and contributed donations and participated in the auction. It’s a real testament to the generosity of our listeners when you see people coming out in bad weather and during difficult times to give. They really came through again this year, and we can’t thank them enough.”