On Friday February 24th, the staff at Oldies WOMC-FM 104.3 in Detroit helped raise $1,808,440 for the Salvation Army's Bed and Bread Club thanks to the efforts of morning man Dick Purtan and Purtan's People. The final 30 minutes of the 16-hour Radiothon netted $100,000 alone thanks to a last-minute anonymous donor who kicked in a $50,000 match if $50,000 could be raised in the final 30 minutes. With $5,000 kicked in by Purtan himself (on top of the $20,000 he donated earlier) and a last-second pledge to make up the difference by Pistons/Palace Entertainment CEO Tom Wilson, that $50,000 goal was reached right at 10PM as the event wrapped up. The 9-10 PM hour was an awesome 60 minutes of radio.
The $1.8 million is an $85,000 increase over last year's total - and is believed to be the largest single-day radio fundraiser anywhere in the country. This year marked the 19th in a row that Purtan and crew have raised money for the Bed and Bread Club; they've helped raise an amazing $12.3 million for this truly local program. Every dollar that has been raised over these 19 years has gone towards feeding and sheltering desperate people solely in Metro Detroit. Every dime has gone towards food and shelter - none of the money is spent on administrative costs. The program currently supports the feeding of nearly 8,700 people and sheltering 1,700 every day!
The excitement of the final push resulted in a standing ovation from the crowd watching live at Oakland Mall - you could see that Purtan and his crew really feed off the positive vibes from the audience and the day-long parade of guests, both celebrity and non-celebrity. You could see in the faces of the people that pull all this together how much this event means to them by their reactions when the final tally was announced.
Not enough credit can be given to everyone that takes part in what I believe is local radio's ultimate shining moment. Congratulations to everyone on yet another job well done!