Radio nearing stability in financial support |

Radio nearing stability in financial support

Shauna Farnell
Bret Hartman/Vail DailyHarry Gray, Anne Ralston, Liz Campbell, Scott Willoughby, Karm Trygg are trying to resurrect a Minturn radio station that brings the voice back to the community.

VAIL – Radio Free Minturn is finding more and more people who care to see it go on the air. Radio Free Minturn is a community radio station in the process of gathering steam, funding, equipment and staff, and hopes to start broadcasting this fall. The organization is run by volunteers who have recently found themselves recipients of a landslide of support. Proponents for the station are hosting a fundraiser at the Sandbar in West Vail Saturday. Organizers are hoping the event yields the final numbers necessary to secure a foundation for the station’s launch.”We’ve received some significant donations,” said Liz Campbell, spokeswoman and lead organizer for Radio Free Minturn. “We’re hoping to raise between $6,000 and $10,000 Saturday, and that will put us over the top.”So far, the radio has raised more than $15,000. Recently, the radio received a whopping grant commitment from Ginn Clubs & Resorts. Ginn committed to match the radio’s fundraising up to $20,000 and indicated ongoing support for the station.Ginn, a development company planning millions of dollars worth of construction in the form of a private ski area and neighborhood of mansions between Minturn and Red Cliff in the near future, is eager to support a community radio station that promises commercial-free broadcasting with a wide variety of musical genres and programs, as dictated by listeners and volunteer DJs.

“As a new member of the Minturn community, we are very pleased to be able to support a project like Radio Free Minturn,” said Ginn senior vice president Bill Weber in a press release. “The fact that Minturn residents are spearheading the efforts to ensure community radio exists speaks volumes of the character of this town. The entire Eagle Valley will benefit tremendously from RFM’s programming.”Financial supportRadio Free Minturn organizers said they’ve been working with Ginn developers for several months.”We sent them information a while ago and I looked up a little bit of their history on philanthropic activities,” Campbell said. “They invest a lot into the places where they develop. I see the community benefiting from Ginn’s investment in the community radio station.”In addition to contributions from donators with deep pockets, Radio Free Minturn has also received pledges from individuals with scanter means. “There are a lot of people in town that don’t have a lot of don’t have a lot of money,” Campbell said. “There are so many people who can’t afford to give but who are giving anyway. They’re digging deep to help fund this.”

Although the station is looking to launch in the fall, it received an extension from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to secure a broadcast location. The Low Power FM order from the FCC originally allowed 18 months to construct facilities, but Radio Free Minturn has encountered complications securing a lease to broadcast from the Upper Dowd Junction radio tower. The FCC granted Radio Free Minturn, which is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization, an extension to 36 months.”We are on-track to start broadcasting this fall,” Campbell said. “The station just needed some breathing room to work out the technical details.”Station organizers have a lengthy list of individuals interesting in serving as DJs and broadcasting staff.”Community radio is a symbol of our individuality, artistic flair and commitment to enriching our society for our children,” said RFM board president Kevin Hyatt. “The FCC has recognized the voice of small communities in America to be essential to democracy – not to be filtered, censored or swayed by anyone.”Radio fundraiserWhat: Silent auction and concert with Little Hercules

Where: The Sandbar in West VailWhen: 8 p.m. SaturdayInformation: $10 donation at the door for a beer ticket, Radio Free Minturn bumper sticker and door prize eligibility. For more information, visit Writer Shauna Farnell can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 610, or Colorado

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