Maytag to raise funds for WOI

Melissa Berg

Iowa State’s public radio stations hope to raise more than $200,000 for their operating budgets during a spring fund drive, and they’re getting some help from the Maytag Corporation.

The spring fund raiser for WOI’s AM 640 and FM 90.1 stations is running from April 16-23.

This year, the Maytag Corporation Foundation issued a challenge to WOI listeners. Each time the 10th phone rings, Maytag will make a donation. This phone, dubbed the “Ol’ Lonely” line, is named after Maytag’s trademark delivery man known for his dependability.

“The foundation will donate $500 to WOI every time the 10th phone rings with a valid pledge, up to $5,000,” said Susan Martin, Maytag director of community relations.

By the end of the first day of the telethon, WOI had raised close to $23,000. The person taking donations on the 10th phone received two calls, which meant Maytag donated $1,000 to WOI.

Donald Wirth, business manager of WOI, said the Ol’ Lonely Maytag Challenge is a way to add excitement to the telethon.

For the eight days of fund raising, volunteers and WOI staff will be answering phones in a small room only slightly larger than the average dorm room. Microphones are placed in the room so the volunteers can be heard on-air.

The drive lasts from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the AM station and 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on the FM station.

Businesses have donated items to be used as premiums, which are gifts of appreciation for donators and vary based on the amount of money donated.

“We received a number of challenges and special premiums from businesses with donations of concert tickets, restaurant dinners, hot air balloon rides, jewelry, groceries and many others,” Wirth said.

He said there was heavy support from restaurants and grocery stores.

“We received contributions of food to keep the staff energized during the long hours,” Wirth said.

On-air hosts pitch to the audience the goals of the hour or the premiums offered during that time period.

“We try to cut down the total goal into smaller amounts such as a goal of $500 in a couple of hours or so,” Wirth said.