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KUAF Partners with Penguin Ed's to Feed Local Hospital Workers

September is fall fundraising month for KUAF and thanks to hundreds of KUAF listeners, we've already raised almost a third of our overall goal! The on-air portion of the fundraiser begins September 24th at 6am. As always, this is an opportunity for listeners of the station to support the programming they listen to and rely on, but this year the station is also providing opportunities to support the hard-working health care workers who have been on the front lines of the pandemic for more than a year and a half.

During this year's fall on-air fundraiser, KUAF will be offering a different kind of incentive to listeners. Instead of offering coffee mugs, CDs or T-shirts as thank-you gifts for support, KUAF is partnering with Penguin Ed's BBQ to provide meals to ICU and emergency room workers in hospitals across our listening area. Participating hospitals include Siloam Springs Regional Hospital, Northwest Medical Center in Springdale, Mercy Hospital in Rogers, Eureka Springs Hospital and Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville. 

"As we prepared for this fundraiser, we knew we wanted to acknowledge the health care workers who continue to work tirelessly as the Delta variant tears through our region," said Leigh Wood, KUAF's general manager. "We wanted to offer our listeners a way to support the station and also support those working in their local hospitals. And public radio makes that kind of mutual aid possible." 

The fundraiser will take place Friday and Saturday, Sept. 24-25, and then Monday through Thursday, Sept. 27-30. Each afternoon of the fundraiser, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and all day Saturday, the station will attempt to get 30 donations of at least $30 or more. When that goal is reached, KUAF will then provide participating hospitals with a Penguin Ed's gift card of $360 that will feed 50 nurses, doctors, administrators, janitorial staff and more. 

"Donor response has been overwhelmingly positive so far," said Cheri Ottaviano, KUAF's membership director. "We will begin the on-air portion of our fundraiser with almost one-third of our goal already raised. I believe this is because our donors want to show their appreciation and support to those who have been working so hard for so long in their local hospitals." 

While the Federal Communications Commission and Corporation for Public Broadcasting have strict rules on fundraising for other entities on public radio airwaves, KUAF was able to support outside individuals through the station's partnership with Penguin Ed's BBQ. 

"Penguin Ed's has been a landmark in Fayetteville since 1962 and a longtime underwriter of KUAF. It's always a pleasure to work with Penguin Ed's, especially when we can work together to support health care workers across KUAF's listening area," said Rhonda Dillard, KUAF's underwriting director. 

KUAF has been an NPR affiliate since 1985 and is a listener-supported service of the U of A and the School of Journalism and Strategic Media, serving a 14-county area of more than 700,000 residents. Donor gifts provide more than three-quarters of KUAF's operating budget of $1.2 million. Listeners can support KUAF online at supportkuaf.com

Leigh Wood is the General Manager of KUAF. She is also the producer of several KUAF podcasts including Resilient Black Women, The R Word and RefleXions.