Diocesan News

Spirit Catholic Radio Supporters Set New Record Spring Care-a-thon Raises More Than $450,000

Omaha (KVSS/SNR) – The Spirit Catholic Radio Network (SCRN) Spring Care-a-thon, held March 26-30 to raise funds to cover operational expenses, brought in more than $450,000.

More than 1,600 pledges were received from listeners who called, sent online donations, or personally delivered their monetary gifts of support. That’s a 25 percent increase over last spring. The amount raised by this semi-annual event (care-a-thons are held in the spring and fall each year) eclipsed last year’s record by more than $70,000.

"We had set a goal of $400,000, which we’ve been unable to reach the last couple Care-a-thons," said SCRN executive director Jim Carroll. "Much to our surprise, we hit that goal by Thursday afternoon. Since we had a whole day-and-a-half left of Care-a-thon week, we set the bar higher and met our second goal. We’re totally overwhelmed by the generosity of our listeners and humbled by how the Lord continues to use this radio ministry to bring Christ to people and people to Christ."

There was a 25 percent increase in the number of pledges, and 300 people were first time donors. Calls were received from 212 towns in the coverage area, and callers from as far away as Texas, Florida, Arizona, and New York pledged their support. "Many of the areas in our state new to Spirit Catholic Radio last year, are now more active listeners and supporters," explained Mr. Carroll.

Employees and volunteers manned microphones and telephones for nearly 12 hours each day during Care-a-thon week, encouraging listeners to support the station with their prayers and to help cover the monthly operating expenses for things like rent, utilities, equipment, and salaries. "Compared to commercial radio stations, our costs are quite low," explained John Soukup, Lincoln and Central Nebraska Station Director. "While we’re very frugal in the use of our donor dollars it’s still expensive to run a radio station. It costs about $90,000 a month."

Many priests and religious from across the SCRN coverage area were on the air for live interviews, along with lay people representing different organizations like the Knights of Columbus and youth ministries. "As always, it’s a privilege to have the opportunity to interview the bishops of the Omaha, Lincoln, and Grand Island dioceses," said Mr. Soukup. "Their message of support for this apostolate is gratifying and so important." Bishop Pates of the Des Moines Diocese could not be on since he was in Cuba with the Pope. Mr. Soukup was joined by Father Kenneth Borowiak as co-host of the midday shift. Father Borowiak is pastor of St. Michael Catholic Church in Lincoln, and is a board member of VSS Catholic Communications.

"Once again, we can’t thank people enough for their prayers and support," added Mr. Soukup. "Catholic radio is needed more than ever as a beacon of light in this culture of darkness we live in."

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