UTICA -- Lots of people in the Mohawk Valley are familiar with "Heart Weekend" but did you know it all started with a radiothon on WIBX almost four decades ago? The news/talker is getting ready to go live for its 39th year of raising money for the American Heart Association this Friday and Saturday.
The radiothon started in 1971, as employees sought to remember of Ralph Allinger, a WIBX employee who died of heart disease. The radiothon was eventually supplemented by a host of other events including what is now known as "America's Greatest Heart Run and Walk" and telethons hosted by Utica's television stations.
WIBX is said to have been the very first station to hold a radiothon for the American Heart Association, and today is the only station in the country that continues to hold radiothons for AHA on a regular basis.
This year's radiothon is set to run from 8am to 8pm on Friday, and on Saturday from 5am to 1pm. As always, pledges will be accepted on the phone, but if you don't want to wait, pledges are already being accepted online.
CNYRadio.com Editor Peter Naughton has been a part-time weekend host at Lite 98.7 (WLZW) since November 2009. From that point forward, it has been the site's policy to include a disclosure statement for any news coverage involving Regent Communications. WIBX and WLZW are both owned by Regent Communications.
I can remember the early years of the Marathon when more people remembered "The Voice of The Mohawk Valley". Folks at WIBX should know that Betty Griffin Allinger (who also worked for the station from 1939!! till the 80's) is living here in Ithaca even now. The whole Allinger family is very happy to hear that the tradition of the radiothon is continuing.