Goal to hear from 1,200 listeners was met; more than 950 trees will be planted
SPRINGFIELD – Listeners of public radio WUIS-WIPA pledged more than $142,000 in support during the station's fall membership drive that ended at 9 a.m. on October 19. More than 1,200 listeners made pledges during the nine-day drive.
"This is a record amount pledged to WUIS but, more importantly, the generosity of our listeners has helped offset some of the cuts we took in the state budget this fiscal year," said General Manager Bill Wheelhouse.
Wheelhouse noted that listener support makes up a growing percentage of the station's operating budget, currently accounting for approximately 35 percent of its annual funds. "It's key to WUIS' ability to provide 24-hour news, music, and educational programs," he said.
This fall, listeners who made pledges could choose to receive traditional gifts such as mugs or hats, or they could elect to have trees planted in their honor at Emiquon Nature Preserve near Havana or at Lincoln Memorial Garden in Springfield.
As a result of the WUIS drive, Green Mountain Energy will plant more than 700 public radio trees – including various species of oak, hickory, walnut, and poplar – at Emiquon during its upland timber stand improvements over the fall and winter. Emiquon is managed and being restored to its natural wetlands habitat by The Nature Conservancy. At Lincoln Memorial Garden more than 230 trees, mostly dogwood and redbud, will be planted to replace some of those lost last winter.
The Loken Family of Springfield – including Mary; her son, Alan; his wife, Susan; and their sons Beck and Finn – encouraged listener giving by matching every tree donated during four hours of the campaign. The match was provided through the Loken Family Fund at the Sangamon County Community Foundation.
"We thank every single person who made a gift; all 200 volunteers who answered phones and went on-air; all the businesses that donated food; and AFSCME Council 31 and others for offering on-air challenges," said Development Director Lisa Clemmons Stott. "The cliche that 'many hands make light work' is very true. We have the best listeners in the world."
WUIS-WIPA is a listener-supported public radio service of the Center for State Policy and Leadership at the University of Illinois at Springfield. WUIS' mission is to satisfy a curious, societally engaged audience through programming and community outreach. For more information or for the program schedule, visit www.wuis.org.