Just a couple weeks into its campaign, Voice of Vashon has already hit the halfway mark for fundraising to build Vashon’s own community FM radio station. Donations and pledges have now reached $25,000 on the way to full funding of $50,000 for the project.
“Public support has been amazing,” reported Station Manager Susan McCabe. “We pulled in about $12,000 on GiveBig Day by mounting an unprecedented public visibility effort in ferry lines, at the grocery stores and on Vashon Highway. GiveBig Day is an online giving event but we decided to put a face on it so people could really understand how important this radio station will be to our community.” A few house parties and a major “double your dollars” challenge grant have boosted the results.
The station has just launched a crowd funding effort using the Indiegogo website that should take the campaign the rest of the way to the total funding goal of $50,000.
Janet McAlpin and David Godsey, the pair behind Open Space for Arts & Community, gave VoV’s fund-raising campaign a huge boost with a $5,000 matching fund pledge. This doubles every dollar donated up to the next $5,000, bringing the total gift to $10,000 with the help of other community donors, large and small. “We’ve been with the Voice of Vashon founders right from the start, 14 years ago,” says McAlpin. “The story of their persistence all these years to give our community an FM voice . . . well, it’s just inspiring. So David and I hope you will join us to support the building of KVSH FM.”
“It’s all about connections and community” says Jean Bosch, President of the VoV Board. “We are asking Vashon to help us take a gigantic step towards connecting our island community in a new and wonderful way. Nothing connects people like a small town radio station and now we have FCC approval to put one on the air . . . KVSH at 101.9 FM. We can all take this big step together by contributing to Raise the Tower for KVSH. It’s a place where we will unite as neighbors in voice and song, a place where we’ll share and hear stories and perspectives that shape our lives on this beautiful island, a place that will bring us closer together through understanding. That’s the power of community radio, the power of KVSH FM.”
The Raise The Tower campaign has so far received donations from over 200 individual supporters, evidence of strong community support. Voice of Vashon has sustained itself as a broadcast entity – and thrived – for 14 years on over 7,000 hours per year of volunteer effort from talented and devoted Vashonians. “It’s about the love,” says McCabe. “Your community support tells us that you understand the value in Vashon having its own community FM radio station. You understand how local radio will help knit us together as a community and help keep us safe in an emergency. KVSH FM will join our Web, TV and radio “channels” so we can all share stories, music, performances and opinions in ways we cannot do so now. It’s so exciting that, after 14 years of work, we are finally fulfilling our dream to give Vashon its own FM radio voice. That’s our name, after all: Voice of Vashon.”
Raising the tower to meet FCC requirements, however, won’t happen on love alone. With the $50,000 needed, VoV will purchase and install a transmitter, antenna and other equipment required to meet FCC regulations and to produce a high quality FM sound. The station will expand its Open Studio training program to add dozens of new volunteer program contributors, and extend coverage, even in areas that will be shadowed by Island terrain. Funds will also go toward adding and improving studio space at Sunrise Ridge.
It takes a community to Raise the KVSH-FM Tower and it will be simple if everyone participates. To support VoV’s crowd funding effort, visit VoiceOfVashon.org/RaiseTheTower.