Radio-athon and benefit concert supports United Way’s crisis fund

WATERTOWN, NY — On Tuesday, May 5, 2020, Community Broadcasters, WPBS and Westelcom joined forces to raise funds for the United Way of Northern New York’s Crisis Fund. The Crisis Fund supports the United Way’s purchases of life-essential items for 25 different communities in the north country, and adds additional grant funding to local, human-service nonprofit organizations.

Community Broadcasters’ radio-athon went from 6AM to 6PM on all eight of their radio stations. Jim Leven, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “I’m am incredibly proud of the entire Community Broadcasters team. Their on-air enthusiasm was contagious, and it showed with the volume of calls received for donations! During this unprecedented time in our nation, we are very proud to support United Way of Northern New York.”

WPBS hosted the “Music Across the Border” benefit concert from 7:30PM to 9PM. The concert included 15 local musicians from the United States and Canada, who prerecorded their performances in their own studios and sent the digital files to the television station. Mark Prasuhn, President and General Manager, described the event, “This was an incredibly rare and unique opportunity to reach across our entire broadcast region in the US and Canada to bring joy to our viewers and to raise money for the United Way, who’s helping families and communities survive this pandemic and economic challenge. WPBS is honored to have hosted this event.”

The system to link the donors together with the United Way was provided by Westelcom. “It was an easy decision to support this event,” said Paul Barton, President and General Manager. “We take great pride in developing and providing unique telecom solutions to meet the needs of great organizations, such as the United Way of Northern New York. This is our home, and having the opportunity to support our neighbors and friends is humbling.”

Jamie Cox, President and CEO of United Way of Northern New York, summarized the event, “On behalf of my board, staff and the communities that we serve, we are delighted that we had the opportunity to work with local companies who believe in supporting the areas they serve. Each company put the residents of the North Country ahead of corporate financials. That defines patriotism.”

Sponsors for the radio-athon included McDonalds, The DWI Guys operated by Nave Law Firm, LA Quarry, Logan’s Equipment Inc., Top of the Hill Mattress & Furniture, Fetched Food, Little Caesars, Northern Credit Union, Top of the Hill Sealcoating, Foy Benefits, i2i Automotive Repair, Community Health Center of the North Country, Witherbee & Whalen, Inc., and Blevins Bros, Inc.