Thursday marked World Radio Day and the power of radio was on full display during the Ryan Jespersen Show when 630 CHED listeners donated $10,000 to muscular dystrophy research in a matter of minutes.
While appearing on the show, Edmonton firefighter Wesley Bauman mentioned their muscular dystrophy fundraiser was coming to a close and was short $5,000.
Last year the firefighters extended their campout by two days to meet their goal but, because of family commitments, couldn’t do the same this year.
Bauman suggested a last-ditch effort to get the money via a fundraiser that would see the five firefighters participating in the campout come to the winner’s home and cook them a fire hall dinner — if someone could come up with the $5,000.
“If somebody wants to step up and donate five Gs to these beautiful people and their families, what we’ll do is we’ll come and we’ll cook you a fire hall dinner in your own house — the five of us will cater it to you and your friends.”
So, Jespersen put the call out to CHED listeners — affectionately called CHED Nation by CHED announcers.
“I know there’s somebody out there right now who can do this… so here’s what we’re going to do. If somebody wants to call in right now and make that donation, $5,000, I’m not inviting myself to your party, but I’m kind of inviting myself to your party, so if you want I’ll bring some wine, I’ll host the party.”
LISTEN BELOW: Impromptu fundraiser on 630 CHED sees $10,000 raised for muscular dystrophy research in a matter of minutes
Within minutes, CHED listener Marfus texted in pledging $2,000. Then, Kelly from Beaumont called the station during a commercial break and promised to donate another $5,000, taking the firefighters beyond their goal.
Once Jespersen announced that number on the air, Marfus texted in again, upping his promise and bringing the total donated to $10,000.
“I love this town! I love everybody in it. Best city in the world,” Bauman said when he heard the news.
“I had no idea this impromptu fundraiser was going to happen, let alone raise double what the firefighters needed to reach their goal,” Jespersen said afterwards. “It’s not lost on me that this all went down on World Radio Day,” Jespersen said.
LISTEN BELOW: Ryan Jespersen reads a love letter to radio on World Radio Day
Bauman conducted his interview with Jespersen while sitting in an ice bath one day after he unofficially broke the world record for longest time spent in an ice coffin.
The fundraising group captured the interview live on its Facebook page.
The firefighters went into the campaign aiming to raise $100,000.