The 24th Annual Bed & Bed Club® Radiothon is once again scheduled for the last Friday in February (Feb. 25) at Oakland Mall in Troy from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. And once again, the cost for donors to join the Club will be $120. But those are some of the only details that will remain the same this year as the event shifts not only radio stations, but hosts.
When Dick Purtan and the late Gene Taylor first came up with the idea to launch the daylong event in 1988 on what then WCZY-FM 95.5, they had little idea that their Radiothon would run for more than 23 years now and help raise nearly $25 million to date on two different radio stations. Not only would the event raise millions to help feed thousands and provide shelter to hundreds daily, but it would become a daylong community effort that found support from schoolchildren to regional celebrities, broadcast personalities, politicians, and even radio competitors.
Following Purtan's retirement from WOMC last year, it was announced that WJR would be taking over as the new radio home for the event. WJR personalities Paul W. Smith, Frank Beckmann, Mitch Albom, and Warren Pierce, among others, will share hosting responsibilities.
As February 25th comes closer, the Salvation Army and WJR have launched a marketing campaign to get the word out that the event will be switching over to AM 760 this year. Past donors have received postcards (pictured above), there are billboards up around town, and there's a YouTube video that shows Purtan seemingly 'passing the torch' to Smith:
With the all the changes to the event, it will be interesting to see how much support the Salvation Army and WJR can transfer without Purtan being the front man for the effort. Certainly, the needs for the program remain the same no matter who is behind the microphone or on what band and frequency the event is broadcast on. The ultimate compliment to Purtan would be to achieve the goal he set each year - to surpass the total of last year's event (about $2.4 million in pledges) by just $1.
For more information, and to donate now, visit wjr.com. Donors can also call (248) 528-0760 during the Radiothon on Friday, February 25th from 6 a.m. - 10 p.m.