Fundraiser for WEFT 90.1 FM, food bank starts Monday

CHAMPAIGN – WEFT 90.1 FM and the Eastern Illinois Foodbank will begin collaborating Monday on their second annual Radio Food Drive.

For every $10 donated to the community radio station, WEFT will donate $1 to the food bank, which in turn will buy up to $10 worth of food for families in need through its network of wholesale food distributors.

The collaborative campaign will continue through Feb. 21. Contributions may be made via the station's Web site at www.weft.org or by mailing checks to WEFT 90.1 FM, P.O. Box 1223, Champaign, IL 61824.

"This is a great opportunity to support two organizations serving the many communities in our area," WEFT station manager Mick Woolf said in a news release. "The fact that the Food Bank's purchasing power goes up by a factor of 10 for each dollar that's donated just takes the notion of giving to another level."

Via on-air announcements, WEFT also co-sponsored another recent effort to help the food bank, which is feeding 43,000 families each month. That effort, a jazz benefit Jan. 7 at The Iron Post in Urbana, was organized by Champaign musician Morgan Powell and his wife, Patty Hruby Powell.

During the four-hour event, jazz musicians donated their time and talent to help raise $1,600 through donations taken at the door and a 50-50 raffle. That amount means the food bank can purchase more than $16,000 worth of food.

WEFT also will participate in two other community efforts:

– From 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, students from local middle and high schools will read on the air their winning essays in this year's Martin Luther King essay contest, sponsored by the University of Illinois College of Education.

"It's fitting that the radio food drive begins on Dr. King's birthday, due to his advocacy for the alleviation of the conditions of poverty and hunger," Woolf said. "The young people who have participated in reading their essays on WEFT's airwaves over the last several years have had the opportunity to be a part of Dr. King's legacy. They are connected to that timeless thread of calling upon our better nature to lend a hand to others when in need."

– The 14-hour national broadcast of the 13th Homelessness Marathon, organized and hosted by Jeremy Alderson. This year, Alderson will broadcast live from the streets of Detroit from 6 p.m. Feb. 23 through 8 a.m. Feb. 24.

The marathon features the voices and stories of homeless people from around the United States through live call-ins to a national toll-free number. For more information, go to www.homelessnessmarathon.org.

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