KRAI drive nets $21,500
Joshua Fleming, program director for KRAI 93.7 and 102.3, teared up at the end of the Holiday Drive hosted by the radio station, but it wasn’t because the station didn’t meet its goal.
He cried tears of joy after raising about $21,500, which was short of the $25,000 goal for the two-day event.
“You emotionally invest in something like this,” he said. “I feel like my stockbroker just called and said my stock went up 200 percent.”
Although the station fell short of its target, Fleming said he was impressed by the generosity of the community.
“It feels really awesome,” he said. “Every inch of my skin has a goose bump on it.”
Station owner Frank Hanel agreed, saying the ratio of funds for the size of the county is remarkable.
“(In the Denver area), they’d have to raise $3 or $4 million to match what we’re giving here,” he said. “This is more than $1 for every person in the county in terms of giving.”
He estimated the drive also brought in around 6,000 pounds of food and at least 300 or 400 new toys. Hanel said he was a bit concerned because in years past the drive had been held over a five-day period, but donations had to be dropped off by 10 a.m. each day. This year, donations were accepted between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday and Tuesday.
“We think this is a much more efficient way to do this,” Hanel said. “We just really poured our efforts into these two days.”
Fleming kicked off the drive by playing, “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer,” until he received the first donation. He was handcuffed to a pole until he raised enough money to be released. And he put together a medley of an upbeat, “Let It Snow” and donators’ on-air comments from both days as the drive’s finale.
With just a few hours remaining, KRAI was at less than half way to their goal, but the employees and volunteers kept the faith. For each donation, the West entrance at Centennial Mall erupted with cheers and clapping through gloves and mittens.
A large portion of the funds were raised in the final hour, with a couple of $1,000 checks and countless bills ranging from $1 to $100.
The monies raised will be donated to Moffat County agencies, including the Interfaith Food Bank, Advocates Crisis Support Services, the Community Budget Center, Christmas For Kids and Christmas for Seniors. Donors could choose to donate to one agency or to have their money divided among them.
Considering the Centennial Mall parking lot was continuously active, organizers said they’re pleased with Moffat County’s response.
“I can’t be prouder to say I live here,” Hanel said.
Michelle Perry can be reached at 824-7031 or email@example.com.
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