Thursday, April 29, 2010

WRIR's 2010 Spring Fund Drive

Listen to the full story here

Every fall and spring since 2005 marks this happy little time that all of us at WRIR like to call "fund drive." During this spring's fund drive -- and others in the past -- the station comes to life, filling with people, laughter and a great deal of delicious food provided by local businesses. This time of year truly encompasses what being a locally-produced, operated and run station is all about.

WRIR Board Member Josh Bearman told his story.

"The meaning of the fund drive, besides the obvious 'getting us a third of our yearly income,' is to us an attempt to validate ourselves by seeing how much of the community will come out to help support WRIR because WRIR's whole message is one of localism and community outreach and community engagement," Bearman said.

In Fall 2009, WRIR raised $27,900 with 426 donors. In Spring 2009, 414 donors gave $27,700 to the station. During WRIR's first-ever fund drive, $21,000 was raised.

There is a sense of community in the kitchen as people filter in and out and grab food. Local residents come together to support a cause they believe in: independent radio, radio for the rest of us.

Julia McCauley, Operations Director for the station, spoke about what WRIR means to her.

“My favorite part about being with WRIR is working with so many people who give up their time and talents to bring radio to Richmond,” McCauley said.

“Indie radio is important because it brings voices that you won’t hear anywhere else. A lot of people don’t know the music scene around here, a lot of people don’t know about other political views and WRIR gives them that voice.”

Phil Ford is a DJ and spoke about what the station means to him.

“I do the Friday Breakfast Blend, every Friday, from 6-8am,” Ford said. “It’ll be five years coming in August. I think it’s a good sense of community more than anything; a community of people that like music and like being involved in something bigger than themselves that’s actually worth a damn.”

Melanie Lane, a donor, spoke about her WRIR experience.

"I love your station -- amazing shows, especially on Sundays. I love your Sunday shows, Monday mornings -- pretty much any time I flip it on it's just refreshing to hear something different and new. I think it's just a little bit more heartfelt, it's not so mainstream. You have a lot of people that are really pulling together for the same kind of common cause and I think that is a very important thing, especially in any community," Lane said.

"So it just kind of shows a lot of support and a lot of information that we wouldn't normally not be able to get. I don't watch the news, so you guys are my news."

A variety of premiums are offered during this year's fund drive. Keeping consistent with past drives, a newly-designed T-shirt is available for donations of $45 or more. For $100, you receive two fund drive tees and the WRIR 5th anniversary silk-screened poster signed by artist Noah Scalin. And a portion of your $200 donation will benefit Tricycle Gardens.

A student premium is also available for $20 and comes with a T-shirt from a past fund drive. All premium donation levels come with a WRIR sticker and schedule. During WRIR's music shows, a number of prizes are given out like concert tickets, CD packages and gift certificates.

WRIR's Fund Drive will continue through Sunday, May 2. Any donation helps keep the station alive. You can donate by calling 804-622-9747 or coming by the station, located at 1621-B West Broad Street. You can donate online at

-Laura Peters

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