Diocesan News

Spirit Catholic Radio Care-a-Thon A Success

(SNR/KVSS) - Calling on the Holy Spirit for a successful Care-a-Thon, which was held March 22-26, prayers were answered with the most successful Care-a-Thon in the 11-year history of Spirit Catholic Radio.

An hour before the semi-annual on-air membership drive was scheduled to end, the station had exceeded its goal and went on to raise more than $340,000. The money will be used to cover operational expenses for the non-profit, listener-supported apostolate. Spirit Catholic Radio is heard on Spirit 102.7 FM KVSS in Omaha/Lincoln, Spirit 91.5 FM KJWM Grand Island, and Spirit 98.3 in Norfolk.

“This is our first Care-a-Thon involving listeners in the Grand Island area, and the second year involving listeners in the 102.7 FM coverage area encompassing most of eastern Nebraska and western Iowa,” said Lincoln/Grand Island Station Manager John Soukup. “That, combined with online pledges from Internet listeners as far as away as Hawaii, Massachusetts and Florida, really made for an exciting event.”

Executive Director Jim Carroll said the theme for this year’s Care-a-Thon “Come Holy Spirit,” reflected the mission of the station: Bringing Christ to people and people to Christ. “That has been central to our reason for being on the air,” he explained. “And with the prayers and gifts from more than 1,155 people, it’s obvious people see the importance of the Spirit Catholic Radio Network in their everyday lives.” In addition, the VSS in KVSS stands for “Veni, Sancte Spiritus” which means “Come Holy Spirit.”

More than 110 communities from outside Omaha, Lincoln and Grand Island made pledges, which Father Ken Borowiak, pastor of St. Michael Catholic Church in Cheney, said reflects the importance the rural community is to the network.

“There are so many people in these areas that may not have access to the kind of catechises they hunger for,” he said. “Spirit Catholic Radio provides that wherever the listener has access to a radio or the Internet.” Spirit Catholic Radio can also be heard online at www.kvss.com.

Father Borowiak, vice president of the Board of KVSS Communications, was also a guest co-host with Mr. Soukup each day of the Care-a-Thon, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“Oh my goodness, I didn’t realize how much energy it takes to do an on-air shift every day. I was even reciting the call-in number in my sleep,” he laughed. “The Holy Spirit gave me, and the rest of the on-air crew, the energy needed to finish the week strong.”

Employees and volunteers manned microphones and telephones 12 hours each day during Care-a-Thon week, encouraging listeners to support the station with their prayers and to help cover the $90,000 monthly operation expenses for things like rent, utilities, and salaries. “Compared to secular radio stations, our costs are quite low,” explained Mr. Carroll. “We’re very frugal in the use of our donor dollars.”

Live interviews with nearly 25 guests, primarily priests, seminarians and religious from Nebraska and Iowa were also featured at various times during the broadcasts, including the spiritual shepherd of each diocese in the Spirit Catholic Radio coverage area: Archbishop George Lucas of Omaha, Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Bishop William Dendinger of Grand Island, and Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines, Iowa. Husker athletic director Tom Osborne, and Husker head volleyball coach John Cook also shared some airtime with listeners.

Spirit Catholic Radio Development Director Bernie Schaefer noted that there were nearly 221 first time donors to the Spirit Catholic Radio family, and more than 100 online pledges amounting to more than $21,000. “Overall, this was a tremendous show of support for Catholic radio from people in our coverage area,” said Spirit Catholic Radio Development Director Bernie Schaefer. “That support truly reflects the Body of Christ.”

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