Voice of Vashon has taken another step towards the 14 year dream of giving the Island its own FM radio voice. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has granted the call letters KVSH for the new FM station that will soon be broadcasting at 101.9 Mhz.
“We’re proud to announce this news, another step on the road to putting the station on the air,” said Jean Bosch, President of Voice of Vashon. “It was a big deal when we won FCC approval to build the new FM station earlier this year and now we hope soon to actually say on the radio that ‘This is KVSH, 101.9, Vashon’s own community radio station.’ Next we just need to raise the rest of the funding.”
“It was quite a process to get these call letters,” reported Vice President Rick Wallace. “We were determined to do something that symbolized our community connection and we considered 80 different combinations before finally finding this one that just sounds like it belongs to Vashon.” Many call letter combinations are already taken, he explained. “But we discovered an AM radio station in Valentine, Nebraska had KVSH and we asked them to share their call letters, which is allowed by FCC rules because we are on different radio bands.”
The station also took this occasion to announce the kick off for its “Raise the Tower!” fundraising campaign on May 6th, the annual GiveBig Day online frenzy when nonprofits time their fundraising to take advantage of the “stretch” funding made available by event organizer Seattle Foundation. “We are doing some pretty unusual things that day to make sure people know how important this is to our Island community,” reported Station Manager Susan McCabe. “Folks are going to be surprised!”
The fundraising goal is $50,000 to cover the purchase and installation of transmitter, antenna and many other pieces of equipment required for a high quality on air sound. The station has been operating for years out of a studio it built at Sunrise Ridge but now will use the funds to raise the bar on its local programming by training dozens of new volunteer program contributors. A portion of the funds will also be reserved for some means to extend the signal. The terrain of the Island inevitably means there will be shadowed areas where the signal isn’t very strong. One option under consideration is a simple “radio button” app that will allow anyone with a mobile device to “tune” in the station’s Internet broadcasts for KVSH FM, 1650AM, Channel 21 TV or the station’s new multimedia website portal.
To donate, Voice of Vashon fans who want the Island to have its own radio station can go to VoiceOfVashon.org/RaiseTheTower.