Friday, Apr 20, 2018

Radio station to hold fundraiser

Harvard Community Radio will host a fundraiser in an effort to raise money to construct and install a low-power FM antenna. The event will take place from 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 5, at the Starline Factory, 300 W. Front St.

Attendees will be encouraged to chug a carton of milk donated by Dean Foods for $1 each, as well as enjoy live entertainment provided by the radio station.

“People will also be able to make additional donations or become members of the station,” said Karen Sutera, a board member for the nonprofit station. “It’s a good chance for them to see the station and how professional looking it is.”

Currently, the station operates on an AM station that reaches only about a 1.5-mile radius from downtown Harvard. It’s also broadcast through www.harvardcommunityradio.com. Bill Clow, another board member and host of the Etc Show and The District 50 Report, said a low-power FM antenna should provide a minimum 10-mile coverage radius, but would cost $30,000 to complete.

“We have a certain amount of time [to raise the money],” he said, noting that the FCC has given the station until next summer to complete the antenna to receive the license. “I have no doubt that we’ll get it.”

The Starline Factory event will include live music by Denny Diamond and The Jewels, the Georgia Rae Family Band, and Joe Pesz and Kate Moretti from the Woodstock RoundUp radio program.

Clow said low-power FM stations have been used to provide local programming in the past, in many cases through colleges but more recently in smaller communities.

“The idea is to put a wide variety of stations on the spectrum,” he said. “Our vision is to really be a community radio station, and we’re looking for people who want to help out in any way.”

Sutera reiterated the message, saying Harvard Community Radio is “essentially the radio station trying to be the voice of Harvard. … We want to emphasize to everybody in Harvard that the radio station is for them.”

If people want to donate but can’t attend the event, they can mail donations to Harvard Community Radio, P.O. Box 782, Harvard, IL 60033.

To volunteer, either on-air or behind the scenes, call the station at 815-943-4115 or email harvardradio@gmail.com.