After a combined 36 hours on-air, Moose FM’s two Muskoka stations have raised a record-breaking $210,847 for local Salvation Army branches.
In Bracebridge, 99.5 Moose FM raised $178,037 for Salvation Army South Muskoka over Thursday and Friday, while 105.5 Moose FM Huntsville netted Salvation Army Huntsville $32,810 on Friday.
Lieutenant April Keeping with the South Muskoka branch says her first radiothon was more than what she expected. “It completely blew away my expectations,” she says. April and her husband Brandon moved from New Liskeard in the summer and took over the South Muskoka branch of the Salvation Army.
Major Neil Evenden with Salvation Army Huntsville says this and the branch’s other holiday fundraisers, allows them to help people without having to worry about staying afloat.
“Each of these activities, whether it be the kettles, or money that comes into the church, or this campaign, all add up, along with the food drives and everything else” says Evenden. “It’s been a good year, so there’s no panic. People have been generous.”
Keeping points out that while the money was raised just before Christmas, it’s not used solely for the holidays. “It’s used year-round,” she says. Keeping points out that the money raised over the holidays has to sustain them for the rest of the year.
“This covers all of our programs,” says Evenden. Right now, he says their focus is on buying fresh, healthy produce for the branch’s close to 300 Christmas hampers for families in need. “That will help families have a better Christmas than they would have if we weren’t here. But then we continue to go the other 11 months of the year, making sure those in our community have enough to eat,” he says.
Both Evenden and Keeping are thanking the community, sponsors, and Moose FM, for their support.
“We were told but it’s one thing for someone to tell you and it’s another to experience it,” says Keeping about the community. “It’s overwhelming to see [donations] come through. Just to see the people walking in and the money pouring in and to know that people care that much about other people in their community.”
“Thank you very much. It’s been a good season so far, and we’re just looking forward to these last couple of weeks to conclude the year appropriately,” says Evenden. “Thank you, and have a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.”
**Written by Martin Halek and Mathew Reisler