Huntley Community Radio is capping off a successful spring — that brought a major donor into the fold — with an old-fashioned ice cream social to introduce itself to Huntley residents.
“The enthusiasm among the people working on the station is contagious,” said Allen Pollack, Huntley Community Radio executive director. Potential sponsors have come to meetings with Pollack not knowing what to expect or not knowing much about Huntley Community Radio. They leave enthusiastic about the concept and ready to offer support, he said.
“It’s a difficult time, but I think they see the value,” Pollack said. “They say this is really great for our community. We will do what we can.”
Huntley Community Radio hopes to get the same reaction from the community at its ice cream social. The nonprofit will open the doors of its new studio at the Deicke Park Building Social Hall for residents to meet volunteers and sponsors. The July 7 event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon. A second ice cream social will be held Saturday, July 14 from 2 to 4 p.m. The building is at the Deicke Park Building at 11419 Route 47.
Volunteers expect to have Huntley Community Radio operating by September. Huntley Community Radio has 40 volunteers. Pollack and Litwin are looking for anybody and everybody who wants exposure in radio, including those who have experience in radio. Huntley Community Radio will be providing training beginning next month.
Plans for programming are under way, he said. Dorothy Litwin, director of development, is spearheading the programming and has had interest from more than 15 people wanting to have programs.
It has been a busy year for Huntley Community Radio as it secured a home and has continued to raise donations.
Centegra Health System became a double-platinum-level sponsor this spring. The donation will entitle Centegra to have its own program geared toward health-related issue five days a week. Since Huntley Community Radio is a nonprofit, sponsors cannot have advertisements. Centegra and Huntley Community Radio are developing the program. Pollack said Centegra also will have the chance to sponsor a program it doesn’t produce.
“It (Centegra) is going to be a major player,” Pollack said. “Centegra will help to legitimized what we have to offer. They took this leap of faith and are willing to support our concept.”
As it stands, Centegra’s sponsorship has helped Huntley Community Radio fund its operating expenses through the middle of 2013. However, “we are still pushing to bring in at least double what we have right now in order to be able to meet our operating requirements to the end of 2013,” he said.
Huntley Community Radio wants to have funds available when the FCC opens up a window to apply for a low-powered FM station. Huntley Community Radio will operate as an Internet station until it can obtain FCC permits and builds a 100-foot tower. The low-powered FM radio station would be 100 watts and transmit about 100 feet, Pollack said. It would have a five-mile radius or more, depending on the signal strength, he said. The low-powered FM station and Internet station would broadcast simultaneously.
Huntley Community Radio continues to seek small donations and has placed 100 or so donations cans in businesses throughout Huntley, Pollack said. As a charitable organization, it needs to raise at least 20 percent of revenues from small donations, he said.
“It’s one effort,” Pollack said. “It’s a way for the smaller donor to contribute effortlessly.”
Huntley Community Radio also is seeking to contract an experience outside sales person who will be able to draw a commission to solicit large businesses, he said. Litwin is working on developing grants for the radio station.
“We are putting together a formal businesses plan to reapply for grants,” Pollack said. “Now that we have funding and we in a building, I think we have a better opportunity.”