Get those rockin’, country, gospel, and sometimes downright goofy listener requests ready, because the 44th Annual Heart Radiothon hits the airwaves Thursday on WMTR-96.1 FM in Archbold.
The Fulton County fundraiser for heart health will be held 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., with 37 guest disc jockeys lined up to spin the platters toward a goal of $24,000. As is traditional, 96.1 FM will forego its normal playlist for the day to give Radiothon listeners what they want to hear, within reason, of course.
Past requests have included contemporary music, team fight songs, one-hit wonders, odd novelty recordings, and music from practically every genre. Some stand-outs have included “Who Let The Dogs Out” by the Baha Men, requested each year by the county dog pound staff, and “The Unicorn Song” by The Irish Rovers, a radio hit back in 1967.
“They’re songs that would not normally be in the play rotation,” WMTR owner Maxell Smith said. “If the station doesn’t have it already, we’ll download it. People enjoy listening because you just don’t know what you’re going to hear.”
All proceeds remain in Fulton County, with some going toward the purchase of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and replacement batteries for law enforcement agencies, fire departments, EMS squads, schools, churches, and other organizations. Thus far, the Radiothon has raised funding to place 129 AEDs in the county.
Listeners’ donations also cover the cost of cholesterol checks for the county’s high school freshmen and seniors, CPR equipment and supplies for EMS crews, heart-related program equipment for the Fulton County Health Center, heart-related programs at the Fulton County Senior Center, and heart-related equipment for Fairlawn Haven and Fulton Manor nursing homes, among other programs.
For the first time ever, according to Radiothon treasurer Brent Shea, the traditional $24,000 goal was reached last year while the fundraiser was still on the air. The final tally of $28,006 included the donation of an AED device.
Over its four decades, the Radiothon has raised a total of $929,020.
Smith said the Radiothon is unique because people from all walks of life in Fulton County get involved, and because it benefits Fulton County exclusively.
“That’s why people like this. They know where the money is going. They see it in their communities,” he said. “We’ve never not met our goal. That’s due to the generosity of the people of Fulton County.”
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.