101.1 KLRC, the University’s Christian radio station, ended Sharathon this month with $746,904 pledged from nearly 2,400 listeners. This has ensured the ministry’s funding for another year of operation.
“The mountains we were facing this morning was too big for us. Then, in a flurry of phone calls and data entry, that mountain we were facing became clearly visible in our rear-view mirror,” said general manager Sean Sawatzky in a statement to listeners. “We’re all walking around the building talking about what God did – and will be for some time to come.”
The station reaches more than 60,000 listeners in Northwest Arkansas each week with Christian music and programming. It also serves as a training ground for JBU’s broadcasting students who can be heard on air. To keep running, the station has to raise 70 percent of its yearly operational budget from listeners.
During the two-day event, dozens of listeners phoned in not just to pledge their money, but also to express their support.
“As long as I got KLRC playing its positive music, it’s hard for my mind to become clouded with anger. I feel clear,” said one caller.
Ten-year-old Johanna Reyngoudt brought homemade chocolate chip cookies by the office with a note that read, “I made these cookies myself to thank all the KLRC staff and make you feel happy during Sharathon. Thanks for playing all the wonderful music!”
To make Sharathon a success, a multitude or organizations donated their time to the event, including Ability Tree, Cobblestone Project, Habitat for Humanity, NWA Healthy Marriages and Samaritan Community Center.
During Sharathon 2011, the station raised more than $660,000.
KLRC has been named the Radio Station of the Year by the Christian Music Broadcasters and the Gospel Music Association four times. This is a national award and the highest honor available for Christian radio stations in America. It has also been named a finalist for the two most prestigious awards given to radio by the National Association of Broadcasters—the Crystal Award for Excellence in Community Service as well as the NAB Marconi Award.