Cardinal Community Service Awards
Each Year the IBA honors the community service of our membership with the Cardinal Community Service Awards. Named after the state bird, the awards are symbol of dedicated service by our membership. In 2021, more than 70 stations were recognized for efforts in their communities and it was an honor to be able to recognize their work that raised more than $2-million.
WIMS-AM (Michigan City)
Each year, WIMS works in conjunction with The United Way of La Porte County along with other key organizations including: the Michigan City Area Schools, The Michigan City Police Department, the Michigan City Fire Department to host a carwash to raise funds for the many programs that are utilized to help families throughout the county. In 2021, WIMS did a “Virtual Carwash” and raised $3,500.
Lakeshore Public Media (Merrillville)
Lakeshore PBS is a media resource for citizens of all ages to experience life-long learning, celebrate human diversity, and engage in civic concerns, all to enrich the lives of people in the communities it serves. Lakeshore highlighted local organizations and businesses who sacrificed and went above and beyond during COVID-19 with its “Friends & Neighbors” series.
Froggy 102.7 partnered with ADEC (A life of their Own, Dignity, Employment, and Community) for the Picture Possibilities fundraising event to support ADEC’s underfunded but vital programs like guardianship, family services, transportation, and job skills training.The goal for Picture Possibilities was set at $30,000, but the campaign managed to more than double this amount, surpassing $60,000.
WBND-TV (South Bend)
ABC57 News joined the fight to help hungry families by selling #Michiana United T-shirts. The shirts cost $20 each. Through the campaign, ABC57 News raised nearly $2,000 for the Food Bank of Northern Indiana to help buy food for local families. In addition to its regular pantry, the Food Bank of Northern Indiana also introduced a new drive-thru distribution center during the Coronavirus pandemic, so families could still get the food they needed, without putting their health at risk.
During the month of October, B100 teamed up with Martin’s Supermarkets to help raise money for Riverbend Cancer Services with “Pink Up Michiana”. During “Pink Up Michiana,” listeners were encouraged to purchase a pink face mask with all proceeds going to Riverbend Cancer Services.This initiative raised more than $6,100 to support women in the community fight against cancer through counseling, wellness programs, wigs, and personal items.
WHME-FM, WHPZ-FM (South Bend)
Pulse FM launched the Teacher Supplies Surprise contest to purchase cleaning, masking, and other classroom supplies for local teachers. Each week for four weeks, Pulse FM’s Teacher Supplies Surprise supplied two teachers in the Pulse FM listening area with $250 gift cards to help with the expense of having a safe classroom in the midst of a pandemic. Over the course of the month, $2,000 was given to local teachers to help with the return to school through Pulse FM’s Teacher Supplies Surprise.
WNDU-TV (South Bend)
Every year as summer winds down, WNDU-TV rallies the community to collect school supplies for families in need through 16 Pack-A-Backpack. But in the summer of 2020, it became clear it was a school year like never before because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was also clear that the economic impact of the pandemic made it harder than ever for some families to afford basic school supplies for their children.
WRBR-FM (South Bend)
103.9 The Bear was the exclusive media partner for the Family Justice Center of St. Joseph County’s Bacon Around the Bend -a bacon-themed 5k event. Typically, this event is held onsite at the Family Justice Center, but in 2020, it was completely virtual due to Covid-19 restrictions.The virtual Bacon Around the Bend had 142 participants and raised $13,772 for the victims and survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and their families.
95.3 MNC’s (WTRC-FM) annual radiothon for St. Margaret’s House took place during the coronavirus pandemic and radically changed how St. Margaret’s House has been able to support the people who need it most.SMH helps women who live in economic poverty by providing meals, addressing immediate needs, and acquiring skills through programs.This year, 95.3 MNC listeners donated more than $62,000 to St. Margaret’s House, a new record total for the 8th straight year.
WRSW-AM/FM (South Bend)
Every year for the past decade, WRSW radio hosts a two-day radiothon called “Riley Radio Days”. In Kosciusko County, a fund exists called the “KC Riley Kids Fund” that serves as a financial assistance program for families traveling to Riley.This fund provides families with gas cards, hotel stays, food cards, has even assisted in making mortgage or utility payments for families in need. The fund has raised more than $1M in the 10 years since the Radiothon began including $80,000 in 2020.
WUBU-FM (South Bend)
During a debilitating COVID-19 pandemic and the events that followed the tragic murder of George Floyd, Mix 106 (WUBU-FM) hosted Heal and Seal, a virtual gospel event on Facebook Live.The purpose of Heal and Seal was to heal the community through music and seal it with unity. Mix 106 broadcasted live performances by The Davis Trio, Sweet Home Ministries, Divine Favor and more at the South Bend Civic Theater. More than 4,100 people watched this virtual event that created an environment of inclusion and belonging.
Star 88.3/ WLAB (Fort Wayne)
STAR 88.3’s (WLAB, WCKZ AND WJYW) Give Love Campaign reaches out to people in need throughout the region which included blessing more graduates, five moms for Mother’s Day and five dads for Father’s Day. The stations formed a community “drive in” in their parking lots with energetic worship music to thank God for the medical providers. Hundreds of cars showed up listening to the same music on STAR 88.3.
WAJI-FM (Fort Wayne)
WAJI MAJIC 95.1 supported the Fort Wayne Rescue Mission in their City on A Hill project. Throughout the fall of 2020 and into 2021, WAJI encouraged listeners to support the Rescue Mission in their mission to offer homes for the homeless, food for the hungry, and hope for their future.The downtown Fort Wayne building is where someone can experience real change, life transformation, a place to move from addiction to freedom, hope, and a fulfilling life.Through on-air and website promotion, WAJI continues to help the Rescue Mission reach their goal of $22 million.
WANE-TV (Fort Wayne)
WANE 15 has a tradition of helping kick off the holiday season with Downtown Fort Wayne during the Night of Lights celebration, held the night before Thanksgiving. As an alternative to the in-person lighting events, WANE held a secret lighting in mid-November, live, at the top of the 6PM newscast and then interviewed the mayor about how to safely enjoy the displays downtown – masked, socially distanced, and without large groups. To help foster the community spirit of the event, WANE created a thirty-minute special that aired on Thanksgiving Eve called Merry and Bright: A History of the Night of Lights.The special included most of the WANE 15 on-air staff as they told the stories behind Fort Wayne’s iconic downtown holiday displays.
WBOI-FM (Fort Wayne)
WBOI produced a podcast called The I In Immigrant, a ten-part series that featured interviews with local residents who shared their experiences about immigrating to the United States and settling in Northeast Indiana. The series aimed to foster better understanding of our immigrant and refugee communities, and delved deep into the person we often don’t see behind a label our society imposes on them.
WGBJ-FM (Fort Wayne)
WGBJ was a part of the Feeding America nationwide radiothon that took place on April 14, 2021. Every $1 raised helped provide at least 10 meals secured by Feeding America on behalf of local member food banks. WGBJ supported the event through on-air and online promotion to get out the message out to listeners, encouraging them to make a donation, whether by text or online, and support this worthy cause.
WLDE-FM (Fort Wayne)
Thanksgiving 2020 marked the 25th anniversary for the WLDE Stuff A Bus Radiothon. WLDE staff broadcast for three days and listeners were encouraged to bring non-perishable food to the bus and literally stuff it full of food. In 2020, WLDE exceeded 2019 food collections, plus generous Fort Wayne listeners donated more than $16,000 in cash, a new record.
WMEE-FM/WQHK-FM (Fort Wayne)
Knowing that this school year was going to be even more challenging for our teachers, WMEE/WQHK felt it was important to draw attention to some of the great stories about teachers. K105 / 97.3 WMEE and their community sponsors supported the Teachers Are Heroes program that recognized teachers in northeast Indiana who go above and beyond to make a difference for students.
WOWO-AM (Fort Wayne)
WOWO held its 73rd annual Penny Pitch For Crosswinds Counseling highlighted by a two-day radiothon on December 10th and 11th. WOWO accepted donations online at WOWO.com and during the Christmas on Broadway live tree Lighting Event in Fort Wayne. WOWO presented a check for $85,688.94 to Crosswinds Counseling of Fort Wayne which will provide 300 hours of free counseling for people and families in Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Noble, Wells, and Whitley Counties, which the organization says is more needed than ever thanks to the stress and anxiety involved with the COVID-19 pandemic.
WPTA-TV (NBC) (Fort Wayne)
Fort Wayne’s NBC partnered with the Community Harvest Food Bank in July 2020 for a #ENDHUNGER campaign. The station aired an intensive on-air campaign in addition to a strong digital campaign.The touchless, socially distant campaign raised over $60,000.
WQHK-FM (Fort Wayne)
K105 helped raise $182,790 for the children and families of St. Jude. Over the past 10 years the station has raised more than a million dollars.
Neuhoff Media (Lafayette)
Neuhoff Media Lafayette’s five stations partnered with Tate & Lyle for an on-air & online campaign called “Backpack Build Up” to raise money for Food Finders Food Bank’s Backpack Program. October to November on-air promos and social media posts asked listeners to make an online donation and raised more than $3,300. Food Finders Food Bank’s Backpack Program serves 770 children in Tippecanoe County alone. The cost is $7/child per week, or $252/child per school year. Children who qualify are given a backpack with non-perishable food items.
Because of the Pandemic, the Youth Services Bureau (YSB) was unable to have their top fundraiser during 2020 and 2021. They approached Forcht Broadcasting stations with the idea of a Radio-Thon on Saturday May 22, 2021.The goal for the event is $15,000. There will be live acts and interviews. It will be a tremendous amount of fun for a good cause.
WLFI-TV (West Lafayette)
WLFI produced and aired a live, one-hour special when the Covid Virus pandemic began in March to local health officials that included both mayors of Lafayette and West Lafayette as well as Purdue medical research specialists. The show explained what the virus was, how it affected the viewer, what our community was doing to handle the pandemic.The show also answered viewer questions and concerns with local experts to help replace fear with facts as the pandemic was growing.
Brothers Broadcasting teamed with local Rotary Club of Rensselaer to raise money and collect toys for local less fortunate families. The radio stations ran an aggressive campaign that combined 1,000 spots, website ads, Facebook posts, and daily live reads to get people and businesses to donate funds, purchase gifts. More than $2,000 was raised and more than 200 local families received gifts for those in need.
Q106.7 partnered with Crestview Community Church for two Park and Pray events. During the height of the shutdown due to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, the station invited people to join the station at IU Health Hospital and Franciscan Hospital to pray for the safety of healthcare workers and played a few religious songs, both old hymns and some contemporary choices.
WIOU partnered with CAM (Coordinated Assistance Ministries) to raise money to help fund their ministry to the homeless. This ministry has grown from having a homeless day shelter to having homes for families to transition back to a more “normal” life as well as other ways to help those in homeless situations. In 23 years, more than $195,000 has been raised for this ministry to the homeless.
Rock 98.5 teamed up with The Combat Vets Motorcycle Association 14-1 to do a charity ride to raise money for Jackson Street Commons in Kokomo, Indiana, an organization that gives permanent, supportive housing for chronically homeless veterans.The ride raised $10,000.
On December 11, 2020, WORX-FM hosted the Salvation Army Radio-Thon, presented by German American Bank. Over a four-hour period, WORX Station Manager Tim Torrance and Salvation Army Lieutenant Stephanie Hartley went on air to promote activities the Salvation Army was conducting to make the holidays cheerful for families in need. Listeners were also encouraged to contribute to the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign. The funds support the organization’s programming year-long.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, STAR 106.9 honored local “unsung heroes” – people who have made life better for those around them during hard times. Two courageous young men were honored by the Marion Common Council for life-saving and selfless actions in pulling a man out of a burning home in Marion.The Marion Fire Department presented Mr. Trevionte Smith and Mr. Marcus Harvey with plaques commending them for their bravery. The two men risked their lives for one of a complete stranger.
Z92.5 and the Family Service Association usually partner for the Z92.5 Little Black Dress Event in the spring to raise money for the Domestic Violence Shelter. Due to COVID-19, the 2020 Little Black Dress Event was canceled. Z92.5 and Family Service Association pivoted to continue to raise money and awareness for and against domestic violence. Through on air and digital assets, the station solicited donations and sold pledge cards. In total, Z92.5 raised $10,000 for the Domestic Violence Shelter. In the past seven years, Z92.5 has raised $100,000+.
WXIN/WTTV decided early on that the pandemic deserved greater attention than the normal news coverage. At the start of the pandemic and lockdown, WXIN/WTTV pre-empted prime access on both stations to maximize availability to viewers and ran weekly Coronavirus specials for seven weeks featuring the most up-to-date information on the new pandemic. Through the year, WXIN/WTTV also ran four virtual Coronavirus Town Halls, also in prime access across both stations, which were also shared live with five other Indiana television markets.
Ball State University (Muncie)
Ball State University’s NewsLink Indiana gives students the opportunity to be involved in student media. NewsLink Indiana produces 30-minute newscasts three days a week.The show includes local news, national news, entertainment, weather and sports! Many Ball State students have discovered who they are within student media. Without the help from a great organization, students wouldn’t know what to expect moving into the real world.
BLAKE-FM supported the “Buy a Card, Save a Business Radiothon”. BLAKE-FM aired frequent announcements, promos, and posted on social media to encourage listeners to purchase the gift cards, before, during, and after the Radiothon. Ultimately, more than $26,000 was pumped into Madison County’s economy in just three days.
WERK-FM and Woof Boom Radio partnered with presenting sponsor, Magna Powertrain, and gave away more than $5,000 worth of gift cards to listeners, encouraging them to shop local. Thirty-seven businesses followed Magna Powertrain’s example and sponsored this promotion. Those businesses gave WERK-FM $100 to purchase gift cards to other local businesses. Some sponsors had businesses in mind, others only had the priority to encourage all local shopping. With each gift card being in increments of $25-$100, the local economy was flooded with cash to eighty-one individual businesses.
Woof Boom Radio collaborated with Madison County businesses on a Radiothon to encourage resident to buy gift cards to local businesses. The plan was to get cash immediately into the local businesses. The effort raised $22,218 in a single day. Listeners had the opportunity to purchase more cards after raising a total of $26,534.
When Easter 2020 was approaching, and the lockdowns were in full force, Steve Lindell had an idea: invite all churches to a WLBC Radio event that had never been done before. Thirty-four churches of all denominations submitted a five-minute message of hope, inspiration, and togetherness as we were all apart. WLBC Radio brought people together for what turned out to be a more than two-hour Radio event, on Easter morning and later that evening as well.
WMXQ-FM (Hartford City)
93.5MAX used its platform to make sure no one would go hungry during the 2020 Pandemic. Showing support and sharing information about Second Harvest Food Bank, the region’s largest hunger-relief organization,Tailgates. The Tailgate program was set up as a drive-thru and met people where they live by taking food to a central location in each of the eight counties they serve.
2020 created unique situations for all sports teams and it impacted local high school significantly. Delaware County, often found in the “red zone” of rising COVID-19 cases, chose to only allow participants, support personnel, and parents/guardians for both football and basketball games. This made the efforts of WXFN, Muncie’s Sport Station, necessary. Sports Director Mark Foerster worked with athletic directors and administration officials to make sure WXFN aired as many games as possible. Thirty-five games, including Sectionals, were aired in 2020.
95.3 The Legend (W237AT, 96.1 HD-3)
In celebration of all things that make you go “AWWW”, the Shelter Stars program helps a pet find it’s “fur-ever” home with HELP the Animals, afternoons with The Buddha. Buddha showcases a pet each week on the air and on social media.
101.7 The Point was a media partner with Shoes for Kids & ReidRide. Money raised from ReidRide bought shoes for kids in our community, 101.7 The Point staff helped the “Shoes for Kids” program distribute thousands of pairs of shoes to school-age kids over its 12-year existence.
Due to Covid 19, WQLK couldn’t have its regular Kash for Kids event to raise cash and collect toys for the Marine Corps Toys for Tots. KICKS 96 got creative and hosted a Roof Sit instead. After 8 ½ hours on the roof of Best One Tire, the initiative raised more than $7,000 and hundreds of new toys to brighten Christmas morning for area children.
The Indianapolis Arts Council had to scrap plans for its annual “Start with Art” event, which is the organization’s annual fundraiser. Instead, they decided to retool the event to become a major fundraiser to support a campaign called Indy Keeps Creating, called (Re)Start with Art. Over a six-week period, WFYI shot and produced a 90-minute production that covered all aspects of the arts community, showcasing its diversity and resilience, interspersed with performance highlights shot by WFYI. (Re)Start with Art was instrumental in raising more than a million dollars to the Keep Indy Creating Relief Fund to support artists and arts organizations.
With local arts organizations and groups unable to perform in-person, WICR offered to broadcast their performances free of charge, giving struggling artists a sizeable audience. The station partnered with the Penrod Society to broadcast seven Virtual Block Party jazz concerts; with Indy Jazz Fest for four concerts recorded at Garfield Park; and with the University of Indianapolis Music Department to present seven live broadcasts of faculty and student performances from an empty performance hall.
Through the GR8 Pasta Push, WISH-TV helped collect 41,000 pounds of pasta for Second Helpings in Indianapolis. This large donation was able to create 133,000 meals for those in need.WISH-TV aired commercials, promoted the campaign during newscasts, reached viewers thru Facebook Live interviews with sponsor partners, shared commercials and ads on WISHTV.com and placed donation boxes throughout the community.
WISH-TV/WNDY-TV helped raise more than $99,000 for the Mozel Sanders Foundation in November 2020. Through on-air and digital effort, WISH-TV’s text-to-donate campaign raised more than $55,000 to support the foundation.The Thanksgiving initiatives of the Mozel Sanders Foundation were also supported in partnership with Financial Center First Credit Union and through a small army of generous volunteers and additional financial backers. Additional local contributions totaled nearly $44,000, bringing in funds just under $100,000.
WRTV, through the Scripps Howard Foundation, supports the Indianapolis community through the “If You Give a Child a Book . . .” childhood literacy campaign. Through the generosity of Central Indiana viewers supporting the mission to put books into the hands of children in need, WRTV raised nearly $16,000 in September of 2020. Throughout 2021 WRTV will give 3,150 scholastic books to all of the kids at South Elementary School (4 books each) and Urban Act Academy (6 books each), a total of 567,000 Reading Minutes developing literacy tools they need to be successful in school and in life.
The Brazil, Indiana Rotary Club has sponsored a 4th of July Celebration for 85 consecutive years. Because of COVID, the annual event was in jeopardy. However, members organized a modified three-day event with several bands.WAMB agreed to broadcast all musical acts live on the radio for those who preferred to stay home and featured a Fireworks soundtrack.
WEVV’s campaign helped raise awareness for the Tri-State Food Bank during a time when Food Banks were absolutely critical in supporting the community, given the COVID-19 pandemic.
WEOA partnered with the Vanderburgh County Health Department (VCHD) and a local non-profit “Leadership Everyone” (LE) to bring in local medical experts over the course of several months to share information about the virus, and other preventative measures. WEOA has aired more than 700 PSAs encouraging people to get the shot. In addition, WEOA reached out to people who had received the shot and had them record a 10-15 second testimonial.
104.1 WIKY partnered with Special Olympics of Indiana for the 2021 Boonville Polar Plunge at Scales Lake Park. The event reached its target goal of $25,000 raised for Special Olympics of Indiana. WIKY Morning Host Dennis Jon Bailey served as the emcee for the event and WIKY Midday personality Debra Miller volunteered to be a “plunger.”
WITZ helped raise $12,000 through the Koatz4Kidz campaign. The stations ran public service announcements and live interviews during the events helping the success of the program. Since 2012, Koatz4Kidz has given away over 7,000 coats and over 300 pairs of new snow boots.
Keeping the faith during the pandemic was challenged by the inability to attend services in-person especially for older people. WJTS TV 18 reached those unable to attend church services during the pandemic by broadcasting local services from the Huntingburg Church of Christ and St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. Special arrangements were made to get the service and mass on the air every Sunday morning including additional broadcasts on Good Friday.
As the historic nature of the coronavirus pandemic became clear, WNIN formed a partnership with the Center for Innovation and Change at the University of Evansville and the bilingual podcast, ¿Qué Pasa, Midwest? for an ambitious project to document the pandemic’s impact on seven Midwestern states. The resulting work is called “COVID Between the Coasts”. It is an ongoing resource that continues to collect a unique dataset of daily COVID information for every county in our seven-state survey area. That data informs culturally competent reporting of diverse communities for the historical record.
WTWO-TV/WAWV-TV (Terre Haute)
WTWO/WAWV-TV put together a page on their website for Wabash Valley restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic. There was no cost for the restaurants to list if they were open for curbside, carryout or delivery. The stations allowed them to upload their menus and provide links to their websites. More than 220 restaurants from 15 counties and 33 cities took advantage of the offer to assist them in a time of need.
Blazer 91.1 WVUB, in partnership with, Kemper CPA, Good Samaritan and Farbest Foods donated groceries collected during the 5th Annual Shopping Cart Showdown to three local not-for-profit agencies. The three local corporate sponsors each had a two-person shopping team to collect items for local charities. The event benefited The Vincennes Food Pantry, North Knox Social Ministries and Helping His Hands. On average, between $1,200 and $1,500 worth of items are collected and distributed annually.
WSLM partnered with three local schools to present a Teacher of the Month award. WSLM presents each teacher with a special t-shirt, certificate, a dessert from the local Papa Johns, a cash award to be used in the teacher’s classroom, a gift certificate for school supplies from the local Walmart, and a WSLM Yeti cup for the teacher. WSLM and its partners have donated more than $10,000 to local classrooms to help teachers make up help with the annual shortfalls in school funding.