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Opinion
The staff of WPRK at Rollins College.
Winter Park / Maitland Observer Wednesday, Mar. 28, 2012 5 years ago

WPRK celebrates 60 years on the air

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Marks 60 years on the air
by: Lauren Silvestri

“This new FM station at Rollins College can help to speed and advance the great ideas which keep men and women free. Whether the ideas come from the great music or poetry or other literature of the past, or from debates and reflections of today, the people of our country who are listening in will be richer.”

Sixty years ago, the then-president-elect Dwight D. Eisenhower welcomed the listeners of 91.5 WPRK-FM with this inspiring statement. While our programming and leadership has changed over the decades, our dedication to serving the interests of the local community has never wavered. It is due to our loyal listeners from the past 60 years that 91.5 WPRK-FM still lives on, and we find it appropriate at WPRK to celebrate our 60th “birthday” with a weeklong extravaganza to thank all of our supporters.

During the week of April 1, WPRK is launching a “fund-a-thon” to broadcast Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. During this time, a couple WPRK DJs will be on-air hosting while listeners are able to call in and donate to the station. Every day at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., a band will be playing live in our studio, and a variety of members will stop by.

“The fund-a-thon should be really cool,” said Programming Director KC Korge, who played a huge role in organizing the fund-a-thon schedule. “It’s like a reunion for everyone in the community, and a nice way to bring everyone into the station. We are always promoting venues, restaurants and other businesses so this is a great way for people to give back to the station.”

WPRK will host a “fund-a-thon” Monday, April 2, to Friday, April 6, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. The week will end with a huge free concert on Rollins College’s campus on Saturday, April 7, from noon to 10 p.m. Visit www.rollins.edu/wprk/ for more information.

Professional Affairs Director Amanda Roche added, “WPRK has barely had any updates or equipment repairs since our founding in 1952. We are looking for any kind of small support or donation from everyone who wants to help WPRK continue for another 60 years!”

The week will end with a huge free concert on Rollins College’s campus on Saturday, April 7, from noon to 10 p.m. There will be two stages for musical guests, which include The London Souls, Beebs and Her Money Makers, Hundred Waters, SKIP, Saskatchewan, KG Omulo and many more. The event also will have a beer garden sponsored by Shipyard’s Brew Pub, as well as many local vendors selling arts and crafts and other miscellaneous items and services.

This anniversary is not only significant for WPRK, but for college and local radio worldwide. Our station is one of the few left in a shrinking radio community that runs on FM (not just Internet streaming), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and is completely run by Rollins College students and volunteers from the community.

“You matter when you work at WPRK,” Korge said. “You have a real responsibility to the listeners, and it’s great that Rollins gives students these opportunities to really count in our community.”

Station Manager Clark Sprinkel grew up listening to WPRK and has been involved since his undergraduate days in 2001. “In 60 years I hope WPRK is still bringing alternative programming to the Winter Park community. I’ll be 89, and hopefully I’ll still be around and part of WPRK,” he said.

WPRK epitomizes the enduring medium of radio, as well as the importance of local radio stations in the community. Here’s to 60 more years as WPRK 91.5-FM, Winter Park, Florida, “The Best in Basement Radio, and The Voice of Rollins College!”

Lauren Silvestri is public relations coordinator for WPRK 91.5-FM.

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