A few years ago, I was travelling and picked up a local magazine (like our “Newberry Magazine”). While flipping through it I saw an article on an event their local Rotary club had done and, in that moment, I realized how globally reaching Rotary is, while at the same time how focused each club is on local, community projects. For our community, it is projects like expanding the picnic shelter at Pride Park, donating chairs to the Newberry County Council on Aging, recognizing our teachers and students of the month, contributing to little free libraries, sponsoring students in exchange programs, supporting our local Boy Scouts of America “Troop 1,” just to name a few.
To allow our Rotary club to support each of these projects, 42 years ago Newberry Rotarians created an interesting fundraiser, Rotary Radio Days (say that three times fast!). They reached out to local people and businesses, offering an exceptional opportunity to support Newberry Rotary projects and to receive air time on WKDK in return. Unlike many charity fundraisers, this one was unique because it was not just about getting donations; it allowed a business, or a person, to receive recognition for their support while also getting marketing on the radio. Forty Two years ago, the Rotarians would spend one day reading personal messages or business advertising purchased through the fundraiser. Over the years, the fundraiser grew and expanded to two days; and, three years ago, the format was updated to intermingle the advertising with normal airtime throughout the month of April, the month the Newberry Rotary club was founded.
Believe it or not, this fundraiser continues to this day and will be kicking off this weekend. From February 23 to March 23, Rotarians will be reaching out to those who have supported our cause in the past, in addition to new businesses in the Newberry community. The last week of March the Rotarians will lend their voices to the airwaves to record new messages, or to update old ones. This year we are also recording a sponsor board; so, in addition to the advertising purchased through the fundraiser, which many times does not mention the support for the Newberry Rotary club, listeners will be aware of the supporting businesses. From April 1 to 30, if you do not already listen to WKDK on a regular basis, be sure to tune in to hear the personal messages and advertising from business supporting your Newberry Rotary club.
Christina Pomeroy is the chair of the public relations committee for the Newberry Rotary Club.