45th Annual CBC Radio-Telethon planned for this Sunday, April 1
A Palm Sunday tradition - the annual CBC Radio-Telethon - will take the stage at the Manistique High School this Sunday, April 1. Months of planning, preparation and hard work culminate the popular Palm Sunday event, runs live from noon until 7 p.m., simulcast on WTIQ (1490 AM) and Charter Communications (cable channel 21). A live stream will also be available online at www.wtiqradio.com.
This marks the 45th consecutive year of joint fund-raising for three charitable causes, under the slogan: “Give Once to All Three When You Give to CBC.”
For the first 42 years, the lineup of charities was the same, with the first “C” in the name standing for the American Cancer Society, the “B” for Bay Cliff Health Camp, and the final “C” for the National Society for Crippled Children, which eventually came to be known as Easter Seals.
Two years ago, the committee announced a new definition for the second “C,” which now stands for “Community Charities,” with a different organization or cause chosen to share in the CBC proceeds each year.
The Medical Care Access Coalition of Schoolcraft County was again named the community beneficiary. The coalition helps qualifying area residents receive no-cost physician visits, some labs and limited radiology, and prescription drug coverage.
“This is a milestone year – the 45th annual CBC,” Powers says. “For any event like this to survive for so long and be so successful says a lot. It speaks volumes about the worthiness of the cause, and it says even more about the people of this community, the volunteers, the organizations and businesses that turn out every year to support CBC. It’s an amazing thing to see the way everyone comes together to make it all happen.”
That was the intent from the very first day, back in 1967, when planning for CBC began at the urging of David Kelly, then-owner of WTIQ. The radio station had recently put on a successful radiothon for a health care organization and was suddenly inundated with requests to do the same for other groups.
Kelly said the station could not hold a separate fundraiser for every group that wanted one, but could do one large combined event for all the organizations, and with that, the seeds of CBC were planted.
The first CBC Sunday event, a live broadcast from St. Francis de Sales School, hit the airwaves in the spring of 1968. WTIQ carried the activities to listeners in its local coverage area, while amateur radio operators relayed the broadcast to more distant locations.
In the early 1970s, cable television arrived in the area, and the Renk family’s Manistique T.V. Cable Company joined the CBC cause in 1973, turning the annual radio broadcast into a radio-telethon.
Five years later, CBC moved from its birthplace at St. Francis de Sales to a new larger home at the Manistique High School, where it has remained ever since
Over the decades, CBC has proven itself to be an efficient fund-raising machine. Each year, the drive collects approximately 99 percent of all pledges while keeping operational costs to an absolute minimum.
Thanks to the extensive lineup of volunteers who work on the campaign and the fact that many of the usual expense items are donated by local residents, businesses and organizations, nearly 93 percent of all the money raised since 1968 has gone directly to the charities.
In its first 44 years, CBC has collected a grand total of $1,451,877.21 and presented $1,348,517 to the beneficiary organizations.
Last year, $45,804.11 was raised. From that total, each entity received $14,500. The 2012 fund-raising goal has been set at $47,000.
Powers and his co-chairs, Sheila Aldrich and Kelly George are confident the goal will be reached.
Highlights of this year’s radiotelethon will include a wide variety of entertainment, beginning right at noon when Darrell Dixson launches the broadcast with the singing of the national anthem.
Also slated to appear throughout the day are entertainers Floyd Brothers Band, Molly Slavinski, Alicia and Nolan Raredon, Pentecostal Church Children’s Choir, Vanquards, Wonton Briefcase (Jodi Wnuk and Ryan Starkweather), Whitewater, Lauren Smith, Samantaha Jasmin, Drama Club, 3-Js Band, Becca Johnson and Lindsay Knuth and Jill Johnson.
A number of special guests will join the anchor team of David Vaughan and Rick Stram for the traditional reading of “pitches and pledges.”
Also on the schedule are organizers of the many CBC special events that have taken place over the past few months. Throughout the broadcast, they will be taking the stage to present their checks to fund drive officials.
In addition, there will be several appearances by the 2012 CBC Honorees. Representing Bay Cliff will be Gene Fletcher. Danny Selling will be the Amerian Cancer Society Honoree. Representing the Medical Care Access Coalition will be Louis Gibson.
One of the major components of every radio-telethon is the large onair auction, which will begin shortly after noon and continue all day long. This year’s auction includes commercial merchandise, arts, crafts, sports memorabilia and other items donated by local residents, businesses and athletic teams.
As always, the bid board will be available for viewing in the auditorium during the broadcast. It can also be found on the CBC Web site, www.cbcschoolcraft.org, where visitors can now find a list of items in this year’s auction.
Bids can be placed in person at Manistique High School on Sunday or phoned in to the bid line at 341- 4701.
All items purchased should be picked up and paid for by 7 p.m. Sunday.
To make a pledge to CBC, call the pledge line at 341-9701.
While the Frederickson Auditorium will be the hub of CBC action, there will be plenty of activity throughout the rest of the high school.
Visitors who stop by during the day will find the Manistique Senior Center bake sale, children’s games operated by the Kiwanis Club, the annual CBC co-ed volleyball tournament, the CBC swim-a-thon in the high school pool, health checks and information booths, and of course, plenty of food and snacks.
More information on the fund drive is featured in the official CBC tabloid. The newspaper supplement is being distributed in this week’s Advisor and Pioneer-Tribune. Copies will also be available at the high school on Sunday.