Radiothon Held For Flood Victims

Friday, July 13th 2007, 5:00 pm
By: News On 6

It’s been almost two weeks since flooding hit Coffeyville, Kansas, and the cleanup has barley begun. The News On 6’s Joshua Brakhage reports the town is taking to the airwaves for help.

The American Red Cross has already spent $250,000 in Coffeyville, just on meals and short-term needs. That barely scratches the surface when it comes to rebuilding what people lost. That's why the organization is using the radio to replenish the funds already drained dry by the flooding.

"Things happened so quickly," said Radio Results Group General Manager John Leonard.

Station manager John Leonard is describing the flooding, but he could just as easily be talking about the response.

"You get a hankerin' at 2 a.m. and you run in the kitchen and get some food, but what if you didn't have it, and you didn't have any of that stuff," Aaron Phillips with the American Red Cross said.

The Red Cross took over the airwaves at four Coffeyville radio stations on Friday, asking anyone who could to help with the recovery effort. The station manager says the AM signal reaches as far as McAlester and Ponca City, but the only thing stronger than its signal is the loyalty of its listeners, and how eager they are to answer the call to help neighbors in need.

"It's not just about the area that you reach, but the types of people you reach,” said Leonard.

"The total we have right now, we've went up another $200 or $300 bucks, we're up to $20,781.67," broadcaster Lance Allred said.

"We didn't expect anything less,” Jill Gorin with the American Red Cross said. “We knew this community would step up from the moment we got here."

The radio station employees pushed the total over $21,000, but they still have a ways to go. The broadcasting booth seems a world away from the ruined trucks and trees, from the twisted fences and oil-soaked towels. But it's not a white flag. This community says it's not giving up.

"We'll keep going and we'll survive and we'll be vibrant, and I betcha down the road, a community that's stronger than it’s ever been," Leonard said.

The station held a similar radiothon for victims of the Greensberg, Kansas tornadoes. They raised $22,000 that weekend. They're shooting for double that this go around. They'll be taking pledges for the Red Cross all weekend, if you’d like to donate you can call 620-251-3800, or 620-251-6909, and toll-free-1-800-252-5443.

Watch the video: Flooding Fundraiser

For more flooding information, check out our STORM ZONE web page.