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  • Writer's pictureJumpin' Joe


Record books were destroyed during WJCU Radiothon '21 as Retro Radio and Jumpin' Joe's Basement Show raised a combined total of over $9,000!

That number continues to grow as online donations at continue to come in. The official total will be announced later this week. Currently, the combined total is about $700 shy of $10,000!

Last year, a combined total of $6,347 was raised during WJCU Radiothon. That record was obliterated by nearly $3,000! As you can see with the picture above, Jumpin' Joe is pretty thrilled!

WJCU, the home of both Retro Radio and Jumpin' Joe's Basement Show, hosts the annual Radiothon to support the continued operations of the radio station. WJCU is a non-profit, non-corporate, Cleveland focused radio station that broadcasts at 2,500 watts on 88.7-FM in Cleveland and streams worldwide at WJCU's goal for Radiothon '21 is $50,000.

Jumpin' Joe's Basement Show and Retro Radio together raised nearly 20 percent of the radio station's overall goal!

WJCU Radiothon 21 kicked off on Friday evening February 12, and Jumpin' Joe's Basement Show and Retro Radio had their first of two Radiothon shows the following day. Well over $3,500 was raised that first show, and online donations throughout the week brought the total up to $4,300 before the start of Retro Radio's second Radiothon show.

By the time Jumpin' Joe's Basement Show hit the airwaves, the amount needed to reach the goal of $5,500 was down to $300. The goal was met less than 5 minutes into the show. The old record, set last year at $6,347, was smashed just 15 minutes into the show.

The annual Mr. Miller Challenge also smashed old records. James Miller, a retired teacher from Toledo, Ohio, calls in with a pledge every year and challenges 5 additional listeners to match his pledge at $60 by the end of the hour. With each accepted challenge, Mr. Miller donates an additional $20, for a grand total of $160.

The challenge was complete within 10 minutes, destroying the old record by nearly 20 minutes! Because of the record breaking time, Mr. Miller upped his additional donations to $25 each for a grand total of $185!

By 5:30pm (30 minutes into the show), the combined total exceeded $6,000. The next challenge was to hit $7,000, which was met by the end of the first hour.

WJCU Operations Manager Spencer German then asked Jumpin' Joe if $8,500 was next. $8,000 was met at 6:29pm. Jumpin' Joe said, "Alright friends, can we make it $8,500? Can we even hit $9,000?" In 20 minutes, the total soared from $8,000 to $9,200!

Can we hit the unimaginable? Can we top it off at $10,000?

You can still pledge until February 23 online at $700 more and the $10,000 mark will be met!

A note from Jumpin' Joe: "This is truly unprecedented. With our goal being $5,500, I would have been happy reaching $6,000, but $9,200 and counting? It's mindboggling! The generosity for WJCU is greatly appreciated, especially in these times. I cannot thank you enough for the overwhelming support for the station, Retro Radio, and Jumpin' Joe's Basement Show.

If we learned anything from 2020, it's that we should never take anything for granted. Many of the restaurants, shops, concert venues that we thought were always going to be there are suddenly gone. Sokolowski's University Inn in Tremont, a Cleveland institution serving Eastern-European food closed after 98 years in business. 98 years! With budget cuts happening every where, listeners came together and pulled through to ensure that WJCU will weather out the storm and continue to broadcast in 2021 and in years to come.

WJCU means a lot to me. I've been with the station for nearly 18 years, 15 of those years behind the mic during Retro Radio and the last two as your host down in the basement.

I'd love to hit $10,000, but I won't be upset if we don't make it because this Radiothon has exceeded all expectations. Listeners of WJCU are the greatest in the world. Anyone who says otherwise is lying and needs to go to confession next Saturday afternoon.

From the bottom of my heart, Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"

Retro Radio with Ray King airs Saturdays from 3-5pm on WJCU followed by Jumpin' Joe's Basement Show from 5-7pm (eastern).

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