Mount Vernon Nazarene University’s radio station, WNZR, raised over $60,000 this year with its annual Lifeline fundraiser.
The fundraiser boost awareness and support for WNZR’s employees and work.
This year’s theme, Fix our Eyes, was chosen by student employees during WNZR’s annual kickoff retreat.
“We involve students in every process,” said station manager Marcy Rinehart.
At the retreat “we plan the entire calendar and the students pick the theme for the entire year.
“Fix our Eyes has been talked about since August,” Rinehart said.
This year Lifeline raised over $64,000, which is $2,000 more than the station’s goal of $62,000.
Money raised from Lifeline goes to different aspects of the radio station.
“The largest majority is going to staffing. Most of our student staff is paid through Lifeline,” Rinehart said.
In addition to paying student wages, the money will be used to pay the basic expenses of running a radio station, and to hire a full-time office manager and underwriting coordinator.
“Underwriting reaches out to businesses,” Rinehart said. This position will also help ensure the radio station maintains FCC compliance.
Other than the obvious financial boost, Lifeline provides students working at the radio station with the unique opportunity to work with listeners and possibly in the field of their future careers.
Rinehart calls it the “perfect scenario,” letting students earn money and get hands-on experience, “which is going to make you a better candidate to get the job.”
Though Lifeline is “exhausting,” the students find joy in their work, and already have plans written out to keep the upbeat and thankful tempo in the coming months.
“To hear from our listeners is probably my favorite thing,” junior Trevor Moore said. For Moore, “verbal support” is one of the largest motivating factors during the chaotic week of Lifeline.
Moore also participated in the Lifeline 5k. “It was very much for our listeners. It seems more like an equal exchange; we have another opportunity to support them,” Moore said.
Sophomore Daria Swisher said her favorite event was Lifeline on the Road because “we go out and minister to the community.”
Lifeline on the Road was an event during Lifeline when WNZR partnered with a local ministry, Place 4 Grace, a maternity home that teaches unwed mothers self-sufficiency and tries to end poverty and unwed pregnancy cycles.
Rinehart said Lifeline on the Road is all about “being the hands and feet, and serving, and living out our theme. It gives perspective to why we’re doing this in the first place.”
Lifeline will allow WNZR to pursue more community outreach and ministry through its radio shows and broadcasted music.
“We’re not just radio either. WNZR is a brand. God’s just really, really blessed us,” Rinehart said. “I’m really excited to see what’s ahead.”