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North Country broadcasters and United Way of Northern New York come together to benefit COVID-19 Crisis Fund

At this time like no other we have known – many citizens, organizations and associations are asking – what can we do to help?

At WPBS-TV and Community Broadcasters LLC, we asked ourselves the same question – and came up with a special initiative that benefits the United Way of Northern New York’s COVID-19 Crisis Fund.

Everything takes place on the same day – Tuesday, May 5th. First, Community Broadcasters, LLC is proud to present the COMMUNITY CARES Radiothon, for the benefit of the United Way of Northern NY and the COVID-19 Relief Fund for its 55 associate agencies.

Our goal is to raise money to purchase food, paper products, masks and other supplies for those who are having a hard time buying them during this unprecedented emergency.

The Radiothon will air from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 5th on all 8 Community Broadcasters Radio Stations in Northern New York. These stations include The Border 106.7, 94 Rock WOTT, Magic 103.1, 100.7 The Eagle, AM 1240 WATN in Watertown and 95-3 The Wolf, 92-7 WQTK and ESPN Radio 1400 WSLB in St Lawrence County.

On-air personalities Johnny Spezzano, Lancer, Ken Martin, and Tony Lynn, along with former Watertown Mayor Jeffrey Graham will broadcast live all day inviting community leaders to talk about the huge need that currently exists and how Community Broadcasters can raise money from the generosity of the north country to meet those needs.

That same evening, WPBS TV will broadcast the on-air fundraising event, Music Across the Border: A Benefit Concert for the United Way. This 90-minute special will be broadcast on WPBS-TV Tuesday, May 5th, 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.

Fifteen musicians from across the region have contributed performances including Joe Bouchard, guitarist/bassist and a founding member of Blue Oyster Cult; Paul Langlois, guitarist and former member of The Tragically Hip; Andy Taylor; keyboardist Noah Landers; guitarist Trevor Gordon Hall; vocalist Donald George and keyboardist Rosemarie Suniga, both faculty members at the Crane School of Music; harpist Esther Underhay; musician and deejay Craig Foster; violist Lia Call; artist Wilson Bickford; singer-songwriter Miss Emily; and musical groups Smoke and Shadows, Bread and Circuses, and Annie in the Water.

In addition to the performances, the special will include short videos profiling the work being done by United Way organizations and the many non-profits they support across our region, to provide help to those in need at this unprecedented time.

Viewers can pledge their support during the program by calling into a central toll-free number which will route their call to the United Way, or online.

Coming together to enjoy great music is one of life’s essential pleasures, and WPBS and great musicians from across our region are working together to offer that experience “virtually”, while at the same time making a contribution to those who need help at this challenging time.

Please tune in to WPBS on Tuesday, May 5th, enjoy some superb music and pledge your support to the critical work your United Way is doing in our community. And special thanks to Westelcom, a regional telecommunications carrier serving Northern New York who are providing the remote phone answering infrastructure so that United Way volunteers can safely answer calls from their locations.

About United Way of Northern New York

Media Contact: Jamie Cox, President and Chief Executive Officer, United Way of Northern New York (jamie.cox@unitedway-nny.org; (830) 431-1541)

The United Way of Northern New York’s mission is to improve the lives of all residents of Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence Counties through leadership, training and funding. Through engaging community leadership and providing critical thought, training nonprofit organizations how to effectively and efficiently address society’s challenges, and laser-targeted funding to achieve the desired outcomes, UWNNY is changing whole communities in the North Country.  UWNNY’s COVID-19 Crisis Fund was established to quickly surge resources to every community in Northern New York by providing grants and critical supplies to increase the survivability of all residents. 100% of all donations to the Crisis Fund supports our communities.




Media Contacts: Mark Prasuhn, President & General Manager, WPBS TV (mprasuhn@wpbstv.org; 315-921-1023) | Tracy DuFlo, Executive Director of Production, WPBS TV (tduflo@wpbstv.org; 315-782-3142)

WPBS TV – Spectrum channel 8 in Jefferson and Lewis County; Spectrum channel 12 in St. Lawrence County; and over-the-air channel channel 16.1/18.1 – is a PBS station serving approximately 650,000 households throughout Northern New York and Eastern Ontario via cable, satellite, Internet and over-the-air distribution. WPBS is a non-profit organization whose mission is to educate, entertain and inform its audience through superior local and national content and media engagement, in order to enhance the lives of those it serves. WPBS has perhaps the most comprehensive and diverse weekly lineup of music performance programming on broadcast television – encompassing many genres including pop, country, folk, gospel, classical, Broadway, opera, jazz and bluegrass. The broadcast home of Austin City Limits, Great Performances, Saturday Night Concerts, The Kate and Barnegie Hall – WPBS is also a long-time supporter of musicians, artists and cultural organizations and institutions across our region. More information about WPBS, including a full channel listing, is available at wpbstv.org, or by following WPBS on Twitter and Facebook.

About Community Broadcasters, LLC

Media Contact: James L. Leven, President, Community Broadcasters LLC (jim_leven@commbroadcasters.com; 315-782-1240)

Community Broadcasters owns and operates the following stations: WBDR-FM, WOTT-FM, WATN-FM, WTOJ-FM & WEFX-FM in Watertown, NY. WLFK-FM, WQTK-FM & WSLB-AM in Ogdensburg, NY. WWKT-FM, WSIM-FM, WOLH-FM, WDKD-FM, WDKD-AM, WFRK-FM, WHYM-AM & WPDT-FM in Florence, SC. WWBD-FM, WWHM-AM, WIBZ-FM, WDXY-AM & WLJI-FM in Sumter, SC. WGFG-FM, WQKI-FM, WSPX-FM & WTQS-AM in Orangeburg, SC. WECQ-FM, WHWY-FM, WWAV-FM & WZLB-FM in Fort Walton Beach, FL.