WMU News

WIDR kicks off annual pledge campaign

Feb. 3, 2004

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University students who typically take to the airwaves to get their message across will soon hit the streets and work the crowds at a variety of events during WIDR Week, scheduled for Feb. 8-15.

The student-run radio station begins its annual fundraiser at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8, with an open house and garage sale at the studios of WIDR/89.1FM. Throughout the week, several music concerts, film screenings, stage shows and raffle events will benefit the 100-watt station.

A "Rock 'n' Bowl" tournament is slated for 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 11, at Holiday Lanes in Oshtemo, where participants will have a chance to win an electric bike, a snowboard or a DVD player. Also, the Kalamazoo Film Society will join WIDR at the Little Theater to present "Pieces of April," the playful 2003 comedy that won acclaim at last year's Sundance Film Festival. WIDR will receive all proceeds from the 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. showings on Friday, Feb. 13 and Saturday, Feb. 14, and the 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. showings on Sunday, Feb. 15.

"Our goal is $20,000, and this year's WIDR Week is more important than ever," said general manager Ben Lando, a senior political science major. The station receives some of its funding from the University, but as costs increase and campus resources shrink, WIDR needs more public support, he said. The money raised is crucial to helping WIDR meet equipment, maintenance, repair and technology costs.

WIDR staff are willing to go the distance for every dollar they can get. In addition to accepting donations and pledges on the air, online and at the station, WIDR DJs will take to the streets in search of support. Staffers will stage three midday "Bum Excursions" on the Kalamazoo Mall.

During the events from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, they will offer free hot chocolate to the lunchtime crowd, "happily" accepting any donations. They also will visit several residence hall dining areas during the week.

Based in WMU's Faunce Student Services Building, WIDR is a non-commercial, alternative format station offers a 'wider' variety of listening choices, including bluegrass, rap, rock, R&B, commentary, classic jazz, sports, dancehall, house, local, independent and more.

Beyond its entertainment value, WIDR is a resource for those looking to launch careers in music, news and business with about 60 to 100 students volunteering there at any given time. The 52-year-old station also has forged a reputation for community service. This year alone the station has held benefit concerts for Habitat for Humanity, the National Organization for Women, Oxfam America, the WMU Peace Center and the Greater Kalamazoo Area Holiday Food Drive.

More information, including a detailed schedule of WIDR Week events, is online at <www.widr.org>. Station manager Ben Lando can be reached at (269) 387-6396 or <widr-gm@groupwise.wmich.edu>.

Media contact: Gail Towns, 269 387-8400, gail.towns@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
269 387-8400