Donors carry KPTZ to its $15,000 fundraising goal
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Charlie Bermant/Peninsula Daily News
Carrie Blair, left, and Steve Oakford take calls during KPTZ’s spring pledge drive, which ended Saturday. The money being raised will help pay for station operation

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — KPTZ 91.9 FM Radio hit its target pledge goal last week, raising $15,000 to finance a power boost and station operations.

“We hit $15,000 almost on the nose,” said Board Chairman Colin Foden after the four-day pledge drive closed at 2 p.m. Saturday.

“We want to thank the community for its support,” he said. “We will put the money to good use. It helps pay for our increase in power.”

The 2-year-old station boosted its power from 900 watts of power to 2,200 watts last week during the pledge drive.

Foden said that the drive started out quickly Wednesday and then tapered off, “as these things often do.” By Friday evening, it had raised about $10,500, and by the end of the drive, pledges were at least up to the goal.

Several incentives stimulated the bidding, Fodden added.

“A lot of people were excited about what we were offering,” he said. “We had salmon for a while, and got several calls from people who were pledging because they wanted the salmon.”

Program manager Larry Stein was gratified by the response.

“From the time that we started the station, we put the word out that we needed help from the public, and they responded immediately,” Stein said. “Everyone's behind us, and we feel great about it.”

The station has been on the air for two years. It began broadcasting a mix of music and information from its studio at Mountain View Commons, 1919 Blaine St., on May 14, 2011.

The second anniversary celebration was lower key than the first, which was commemorated with a party and dance.

Volunteers answered phones during the pledge drive and have driven the station since its inception. The station has only one paid position, and that is part time.

“It's different running a volunteer organization than one where everyone is paid,” Foden said. “It's less stable. People sign up, but they come and go since they have other things to do.

“We can't make people come in. It's not like we can say 'if you don't come in, we aren't going to pay you.'”

The volunteers have become a community, Foden said.

“Everyone who works here loves the station and has contributed to what we are,” he said.

Station officials are always looking for new volunteers, especially those with radio and engineering experience, he said.

Organizers hope that last week's power boost extended the station's broadcast signal to Port Angeles and other areas.

Significant improvements in reception were expected south toward Quilcene and Port Ludlow, as well as toward Sequim and in Coupeville on Whidbey Island, though the station is not allowed to increase its signal toward Canada.

Foden said that no data had been gathered about signal saturation, so organizers don't know who is hearing the signal now.

For more information about the station, or to hear the broadcast on the Internet, go to www.kptz.org.

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Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at cbermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: May 12. 2013 6:16PM
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