Being On The Air Means You Can Make A Difference (Part 2)

I have a confession to make. I’m a thief. I’ve been known to steal ideas from radio personalities in other cities and bring them back to the city where I live or am living. Someone once said that there or no original ideas in radio, but many stolen ones. This is one I’m glad I stole. Back in 1999 I went to a radio convention called BFD which stood for Bitboard Festival Dallas. Bitboard was an idea sharing website where radio personalities from all across our country submitted ideas every week. The convention was an extreme version of that web site. They had some interesting guests at BFD including Dr. Phil. The man who was the organizer for BFD was a legendary Dallas radio personality named Kidd Kraddick. At BFD he ran a video of his most recent Kids Kidds trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando. About 10 years before this convention Kidd organized this non-profit organization to take sick kids and their families to the land of Mickey Mouse. Many times morning radio personalities at a convention such as this don’t take anything too seriously and are always talking. After Kidd ran the video you could have heard a pin drop. The video really did a good job of tugging at your heart strings. I thought this was a real good idea and I brought it back to Waterloo/Cedar Falls where I was the “morning guy” at MIX 96 at the time. I mentioned the idea to the owner/manager of the station, who was also my co-host on the morning show, Jim Coloff, who supported the idea. He really didn’t think it would become too successful as he thought the best we could do was take a bus load of kids to Adventureland in Altoona and that would be it. It didn’t turn out that way. I started calling Cedar Valley Pediatricians to see if there was a need for an organization such as this. They agreed that there was a need in the area. Then we got a local lawyer to help us become a 501 C-3 non-profit organization probono. After that we developed an advisory committee to help us figure out how the organization should be run and “Jamie & Jim’s Kids” was born. How the community came together for this charity was beyond our wildest dreams. In our first year we had bake sales, raffled off a Harley, had a golf outing plus a live and silent auction. We ended up raising $50,000 our first year and with that money we could afford to take 16 families with children who had chronic or terminal illness to Walt Disney World. In the years that followed we raised more money and made the trip even better. After 7 years as President of the organization I left the station and the charity to go to work for another non-profit. After that the name Jamie & Jim’s Kids morphed into “Magical Mix Kids” since the station that sponsored the charity was MIX 96.  This fall Magical Mix Kids will be taking their 20th trip to the land of Mickey Mouse. As I mentioned, we couldn’t have done this if we didn’t have the overwhelming support from the community and the resources of the radio station. This proves that radio you can make a real difference in your community. If you would like to know more about Magical Mix Kids head to their web site: http://magicalmixkids.com/