DEARBORN — Henry Ford College’s WHFR-FM (89.3 FM) – the college’s student-run, non-commercial, independent radio and internet broadcasting station – will hold its annual pledge drive, Radiothon 2022, April 3 to 9, with a variety of special on-air events scheduled throughout the week.
The radio station’s FM signal had degraded to less-than-optimal status at certain points over the past two years. But that has been fixed after an infrastructure upgrade.
“Thanks to listener support, WHFR was recently able to launch a necessary equipment upgrade project to rebuild our transmitter site,” said Susan McGraw, Communication and Media Department chair and WHFR general manager. “A new antenna has been installed on the WHFR tower which has returned our FM broadcast signal solidly to the airwaves. We want to say ‘Welcome back.’”
Founded in 1985, WHFR has been committed to providing programming that is rarely heard on the metropolitan Detroit radio dial. With original musical styles from talented, creative artists and local talk, WHFR airs unique and valuable content, McGraw said.
Bringing back the sunshine
“To keep WHFR operating successfully, we need to ask for your support once again,” McGraw said. “We make this request one week out of the year and we call it ‘Radiothon.’
“This year’s Radiothon theme is ‘Bringing Sunshine to WHFR by Helping Replenish Our Rainy Day Fund.’ Because of our necessary equipment upgrade, we’ve had to exhaust most of our rainy day fund. We urgently need to build it back up, and we ask for your help to do so.”
As a non-commercial, volunteer-staffed radio station, WHFR is not licensed to sell commercials and must rely on support from HFC and private donations in order to operate. Because WHFR does not receive government funding, more than 60 percent of its operating budget directly comes from public donations.
2 ways to donate to WHFR’s rainy day fund
There are two ways to donate to the radio station during Radiothon 2022:
1. On-Air: The on-air portion of Radiothon 2022 is April 3 to 9 when live DJs will be asking listeners to call in at 313-845-9676 to make a tax-deductible donation via credit card or to request a self-addressed envelope to be sent. WHFR will have incentive items, including WHFR sunglasses, flipflops and an umbrella.
2). Online: Securely donate online at https://foundation.hfcc.edu/whfr.
Special Radiothon 2022 live event April 7
WHFR will host a special benefit concert and live podcast recording from 8 to 10:15 p.m. April 7 at Trinity House, 38840 W. Six Mile Road, Livonia, featuring local musical act Jo Serrapere and Friends.
Tickets are $20. For questions or further information about the concert, call 734-464-6302.
Whether recreating old classic songs or performing original songs in her own deeply confessional and comic styles, Serrapere’s music reflects her love of American roots music. Her eclectic writing and performance fuses elements of various modern and traditional folk music, Delta, and electric blues, roots rock, classic and alt-country, garage rock surf, and swing.
WHFR Operations Manager John Bommarito, who hosts WHFR’s “Acoustic Alternatives” radio show, will record an episode of his podcast on stage in front of the live audience. He will have an in-depth conversation with Serrapere between some of her acoustic performances in the first half of the show. Afterward, Serrapere will play the second half with La Fawndas.
“This will be a truly unique show, which will benefit WHFR,” McGraw said. “Our listeners and donors play a vital role in the continued success of WHFR. We are committed to staying true to our mission with local, independent, and eclectic programming.”
For questions or more information about Radiothon 2022, contact McGraw at 313-845-9842 or [email protected]