The Rapidian

WYCE, listener supported radio station holds fund drive

Grand Rapids community bands together to drum up support for "the best little radio station on the planet" with support from local businesses including Harmony Hall, Long Road Distillers, Marie Catribs, The Mitten, and Party on Printing.
Beers at Harmony Hall

Beers at Harmony Hall /Courtesy of Harmony Hall

Underwriting support from:
WYCE

WYCE /Courtesy of WYCE

“WYCE is all about taking people on musical adventures, it’s about the segue, and painting pictures with music.” Says Mark Gerard, WYCE Volunteer Programmer for 15 Years.  

WYCE 88.1fm (A service of the Community Media Center) has been a contributor to the West Michigan non-commercial, non-profit radio world for well over 20 years.  Providing a place for businesses, fellow non-profit organizations, musicians and community members to collectively share information and creativity while supporting each other.  This little radio station also serves the community as a music discovery service, playing a range of tunes from all different genres, and corners of the map.

WYCE holds two semi-annual fund drives to provide operational support for the station. This includes 80% of the total operating budget, terrestrial and internet broadcasting capabilities, equipment maintenance and providing the staff to support its volunteer programmers. Over 60 volunteer programmers create unique radio programming for our 20,000+ weekly listener base.

Executive Director of the Community Media Center Linda Gellasch says “Partnerships with businesses within our community are so vital to WYCE’s success. It is heartwarming how local entrepreneurs see WYCE’s role, as the community radio station of Grand Rapids as important for their businesses successes as well. We are all working together to bring about a vibrancy for this community.”

Each fund drive, businesses, musicians, and other folks from the community rally together to gather the support for this grass roots contribution to the flourishing community of Grand Rapids. For instance, this fund drive, several businesses in the community have generously contributed their services to the mission of the WYCE. Long Road Distillers teamed up with local bluegrass band The Bootstrap Boys for a benefit, where $2 of each drink purchased between 8:00pm and 10:00pm went towards the fund drive.

Harmony Hall, neighbor to WYCE and The Community Media Center on Bridge Street has brewed up a special WYCE Weiss, and for each pint purchased, $1 goes to support the station, this will be in effect while supplies last!

“Being a neighborhood business gives us the opportunity to help create and support community in Grand Rapids. Harmony Brewing’s partnership with WYCE is ideal because we can collaborate and support our mutual goals of a thriving scene with strong neighborhoods, local music, craft beer, and a creative and diverse food culture. It’s a great match. Plus they’re a blast to work with!” says Heather VanDyke, co-owner of Harmony Brewing Company.

Other businesses who have stepped up to the plate to support the station include Marie Catribs and The Mitten, providing lunch and dinner to our volunteer programmers, and community members who are answering phones and taking donations! The station also has a variety of different incentives such as t-shirts, hats, concert tickets, and the very unique opportunity for it’s dedicated listeners to come be a guest on the station with an interview from their favorite programmer!

“WYCE approached us about printing t-shirts for the annual spring fund drive, designed by Matt Loeks. As a small, local start up business, we were absolutely elated to help out a radio station which does so much for our community. Naturally, we jumped on the opportunity, working with WYCE is always easy and fun!” says AJ Schalk, owner of Party on Printing.

“Fund drive has been an incredible show of community support, I’ve really come to appreciate this time of year because I get to connect with our listeners, and meet people who love the station” says Station Manager AJ Paschka.

It’s not too late to contribute, the Spring Fund Drive goes through Friday April 22nd at 6:00pm, but that doesn’t mean you can't still make a contribution to the station. Visit www.wyce.org or call 742-9923 to make your contribution now. 

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