FM radio station asks for pledges

Local radio station 101.5 FM The River is asking residents of northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan to open their wallets to benefit two charities.

The Toledo station will be taking pledges on-air from Wednesday to April 12 to benefit Children’s Miracle Network and River Trust. The fund-raising event will be in a radiothon called “Have A Heart — Take Part.”

During the four-day marathon, The River will broadcast from Mercy Children’s Hospital. Listeners will be introduced to miracle families, other individuals involved and organizations from the community.

Listeners can call in and pledge financial support from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

Beth Michaels, program director for The River, said listeners can pledge any amount they wish. For those who are unsure how much to pledge, the station is suggesting $12 a month for a year. “$12 per month isn’t a huge amount for most people,” Michaels said, “but it can make a huge difference to the family of a sick child or a homeless family.”

The two charities were chosen because they fit well with the River’s family-friendly programming, Michaels said.

“Children’s Miracle Network is a great organization that supports a variety of programs and services at Mercy Children’s Hospital,” Michaels said.

Children’s Miracle Network is the world’s largest non-profit children’s fund-raising organization, which supports 170 children’s hospitals in the United States and Canada. John Lechman, account representative for Children’s Miracle Network, said the money donated to the Network is used for pediatric programs.

“The funds cover areas that are difficult to find through traditional programs,” Lechman said. “The funds benefit areas that fall through the gaps rather than building new hospital wings.” River Trust is the station’s non-profit charity. Its mission is preserving and promoting family life in northwest Ohio.

River Trust has donated $30,000 in grants to non-profit organizations such as Visiting Nurse Hospice, the Beach House Family Shelter, Good Samaritan Outreach Center and the Jerusalem Township Food Pantry, Michaels said.

This year is the first time the station will have the radiothon. “We have heard a variety of success stories from radiothons around the country,” Michaels said. She said she hopes area people will respond with generosity once they meet some of the miracle families and hear their stories.

“Have A Heart — Take Part” will be hosted by River morning show personalities Jack Mitchell and Mary Beth Zolik along with the rest of the on-air staff.

Listeners who wish to pledge can call 419-251-1015 or 877-251-1015 during the four-day radiothon.