KACU, the 30-year-old National Public Radio in Abilene, is hosting its pledge drive this week and anticipates raising over $30,000.
The local radio station was established in June 1986 and founded by Dr. Lowell Perry in 1951. Since then, it has started doing two on-air pledge drives each year. The station is supported by many businesses and organizations in Abilene. Located on the first floor in the Don Morris Building, it consists of daily news, educational information and music.
The promotions for the pledge drive have been airing during commercial breaks for two weeks and for one week on-air live. The theme this spring is “Your Choice for Elections” because of the upcoming election in November.
Nathan Gibbs, general manager at KACU, said he hopes they can raise this spring’s goal.
“The fall is typically better than the spring in terms of the cycles; it tends to come in a little higher in the fall,” Gibbs said. “So we tend to get a little lower in the spring.”
The donors vary, and donations generally come from older audience members, but the radio station also attracts college-student listeners. “It definitely is a little bit of everything,” Gibbs said. He also said some people even donate up to $1,000.
They were able to ask the audience to help them reach their goal of $40,000 during the last pledge drive by interrupting the audience to donate in order to get back to the regular schedule.
“It’s critical to actually pay for the stuff,” he said. “So we raise about roughly $150,000 out of the Abilene community every year that comes from businesses and individuals, but the biggest portion of it is the community support.”
At the beginning of the week, the pledge drive is slow but steady, but during the last few days Gibbs said it raises around $6,000-$8,000.
Several college students are employed at KACU, which provides broadcast journalism and multimedia majors with experience for their future careers.
Haley Remenar, sophomore convergence journalism major from Albuquerque, New Mexico, is an announcer at KACU. She said before the pledge drive started the announcers did on-air promos for the first time, and this helped them raise almost $6,000 before the drive even started.
Remenar said she looks forward to networking, the extra hours and the experience during the pledge drive. Last year she was able to meet local news anchors and the university vice president, Dr. McCaleb.
Every hour throughout the week, a new guest is interviewed. This week, Remenar was able to meet Royce Money and said Dr. Rachel Riley and her son, Jackson, will be potential guests this week.
To hear KACU, you can tune in to 89.5FM or listen online. To donate you can visit http://kacu.org/ or call 325-674-2441.