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What A Drive!

Oh, what a fund drive it was! It was surely some sort of a record breaker. First off, thanks to you we made over $400,000 in our locked before the drive even started. We went on-air Monday morning and ended, a million dollars later, on Thursday around noon. That's a lot of money andmany of you followed us every minute of the drive. It's always interested me how some public stations never tell you how much they've raised. We think that it's incredibly important to keep you in the loop as we go. After all, we are all in this together. 

There were several reasons why I think the drive went so fast. First of all, there was the locked box. There were all the generous challenges that came from so many people who were willing to put up their hard earned money. We all know that when challenges come in (and there were over $100,000 of them) people respond.

 Of course, one big factor was the election. The theme of this drive was to get back to our regular programming and the election coverage that so many people depend on. We decided that we would do a special one-hour post-debate panel on Thursday morning and while star Rosemary Armao was out of town, attorney Rich Honen, and political specialist Theresa Bourgeois were terrific. What I love about that show is how interactive it is. Many of you e-mail us, and as much as possible, we read what you are thinking.

Let’s not forget the wonderful partnerships that WAMC enters into. Our listeners seem to love them. We work with a donor, such as MVP or the Seymour Fox Foundation, who will put up a large sum of money to help a really good cause. Then, when you give $100 to WAMC, they will give $100 to feed the homeless, in the case of MVP or enough food to feed a family of four for three months, in the case of the Fox Foundation. It was a win-win and our donors knew it. Many of you did everything you could to make the partnerships work. We saved a lot of money because we didn’t have to buy nearly as many T-shirts or mugs as usual. Of course, we want listeners to get premiums, too, but this was a nice little extra for the fund drive and the station.

I really love reading the names and comments of all our listeners. I wish we had an extra dollar for each of you who said that WAMC was the best radio station in the world, or the nation, or on their radio dial.

Talk about feeling good! Then there were many people who wanted to check in on the Presidential race. Sometimes we hear from people like Republican John Faso who is running for Congress against Democrat Zephyr Teachout. Faso made his respect for WAMC clear and while he and I don't always agree on things political, I sure loved hearing from him. It appears that as a concept, WAMC transcends politics.

I confess that I gained nine pounds during the drive. So many people brought so much food and so many restaurants and caterers and dairies put so much into the drive that every time I walked by the food table I grabbed something.

The staff is incredible. Everyone does something. There are far too many people to name here but one stands out and that is our Colleen O'Connell. She is terrific and runs every aspect of the fund drive. To her and to all of you we say, THANKS! 

Dr. Alan Chartock is professor emeritus at the University at Albany. He hosts the weekly Capitol Connection series, heard on public radio stations around New York. The program, for almost 12 years, highlighted interviews with Governor Mario Cuomo and now continues with conversations with state political leaders. Dr. Chartock also appears each week on The Media Project and The Roundtable and offers commentary on Morning Edition, weekdays at 7:40 a.m.
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