The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit has announced that the 24th annual Salvation Army Bed & Bread Club Radiothon will be broadcast on News/Talk 760 WJR on Friday, Feb. 25, 2011.
WJR will become the third radio home for the annual event, following WKQI FM 95.5 and WOMC FM 104.3 where it was hosted for the previous 23 years by legendary morning host Dick Purtan and his crew known as Purtan's People. During those 23 years, the event grew into the largest single-day single-station radio fundraising event anywhere in the country and helped raise approximately 24 million dollars. Mr. Purtan retired from WOMC in March 2010, exactly one month after hosting the 23rd Radiothon and helping raise nearly $2.4 million for the Salvation Army program.
"I am very happy to hear that this critical and important fundraising event will continue," commented Purtan. "I am urging all of my past supporters to give to The Salvation Army Bed & Bread Radiothon, especially in this time of great need."
The 2011 Radiothon will be hosted by WJR's personalities including Paul W. Smith, Frank Beckmann, Mitch Albom, Warren Pierce, and others with 100 percent of every dollar donated going to The Salvation Army's Bed & Bread Club® program.
Approximately 5,000 meals are served each day to children, adults and seniors by The Salvation Army Bed & Bread program, which includes Bed & Bread trucks. The trucks make stops in Detroit's most depressed areas every day of the year. In addition, 570 men, women and children are sheltered by The Salvation Army's Bed & Bread program every day and night of the year.
"WJR is thrilled to join The Salvation Army in the fight against hunger and homelessness. We look forward to this wonderful event for our community," said Michael Fezzey, president and general manager of WJR.
The Bed and Bread Program's mobile feeding trucks refer the homeless to Salvation Army treatment programs as well as provide valuable social services. Bed and Bread trucks leave from The Salvation Army's Acres of Hope campus in Detroit 365 days a year to visit numerous designated Bed and Bread stops throughout the day.
"We are looking forward to another successful year of raising funds to provide critical services such as food and shelter assistance for our neediest neighbors," said Major John Turner, general secretary of The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit. "The goal of the 2011 Radiothon is to raise as much money as possible to help meet the ever-increasing needs of the homeless and hungry of metro Detroit."
A $10 per month gift ($120 per year) to The Salvation Army Bed and Bread Program helps to feed a child or adult for one year and enrolls you in the Bed and Bread Club.
The Salvation Army has seen a dramatic increase in the demand for services the past few years. With temperatures dropping and the unemployment rate in the double digits, The Salvation Army is now serving some who used to be donors. According to recent U.S. Census Bureau statistics, Michigan was the only state where poverty rose last year in 2009, as well as the only one where incomes fell.
For more information or to make a donation, visit www.salmich.org or call (877) SAL-MICH.