Thanks to the generosity of supporters near and far, KUCB's 2019 Pledge Drive broke all of the station's previous fundraising records.
The fall membership event raised more than $43,000 at a time when the station needs local support more than ever, due to the elimination of state funding. In addition to the community's tremendous contributions, the Oct. 4 fundraiser was also memorable for a lengthy and unexpected power outage, which interrupted the on-air drive for about four hours.
The fundraiser began as scheduled with pajama-clad volunteer Skye Stafford live on the mic at midnight, followed by KUCB staff and board members. At 5 a.m., volunteer Josh Good jumped on the air with co-host Mike Hanson. But minutes into their two-hour rock block, the studio suddenly went dark. While the city-wide outage took KUCB off the air, Good headed outside to the nearby intersection with a cardboard sign, urging early morning commuters to donate.
The power was restored around 9 a.m., and the pledge drive went back into full swing. Throughout the morning, community members stopped by the station to chat, donate, and enjoy breakfast and artisanal soda water donated by the Unalaska Brewing Company.
The rest of the day focused on bringing Unalaska musicians into the studio. Acts varied from local pianists and kazoo players to an hour-long set by the seven-piece Shaler Mountain String Band. Another fan favorite performance by elementary school teachers Mary Heimes and Sharon O'Malley included an original tribute to the radio station.
Meanwhile, the donations flowed in steadily until a final $300 pledge pushed KUCB past its $32,000 goal — just a few minutes before midnight. A week later, contributors have raised more than $43,000 and counting.
KUCB is very grateful to everyone who donated. The station's membership includes former KUCB staff and board members, friends and families of our volunteers, and many Unalaska residents, past and present. The station thanks each and every one of you.
Special thanks also goes to OptimERA WiFi for donating thousands of dollars of wi-fi cards as thank you gifts, UniSea's hospitality division for matching the pledges of every UniSea employee, and Alaska Airlines for providing a round-trip ticket for a membership prize drawing. Safeway also provided a delicious breakfast, while Gas N' Go contributed a much-needed pizza lunch.
The donations will help KUCB continue to bring Unalaska its local news, music shows, and community announcements through 89.7 FM, kucb.org, and local repeater service of KSKA 91.1 FM.
Tune in to KUCB Friday, Oct. 11 from 5:08 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. to hear last week's morning deejays reconvene and make up for the four hours lost due to the power outage. The reboot will culminate in the Alaska Airlines ticket drawing.
For more photos and videos of the 2019 Pledge Drive, visit KUCB's Facebook page.