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Saturday, April 20, 2024

KDVS Fundraiser 2014 celebrates 50th anniversary

It’s that time of year again — the annual KDVS Fundraiser is taking over 90.3FM. The radio station will be asking for donations from listeners from April 21 to April 27. As well as special programming, KDVS will host events in Davis in conjunction with local businesses.

Drew Evans has been a DJ at KDVS since January 2013 and became fundraising coordinator a year ago. Evans explained the format of this year’s fundraiser and how vital this event is for KDVS.

“We do it every year in April for one week. We have DJs on the air 24 hours a day, seven days a week; 168 hours straight where we’re asking for pledges and we basically raise about 50 percent of our operating costs for the year. We’re hoping to raise quite a bit more than that this year. The target is $50,000,” Evans said.

This year’s fundraiser holds special significance as it coincides with KDVS’ 50th anniversary. KDVS prides itself on remaining an educational and noncommercial radio station.

“[KDVS] is really a community venture from the ground up; anyone who wants to be a DJ can be. It’s really special to have something that provides unique programming you can’t find anywhere else. There’s a live DJ down there 24 hours a day which is becoming less common for a lot of radio stations,” Evans said.

Kelly Corcoran is also a fundraising coordinator. She is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the linguistics department and has been working at KDVS since 2007. As well as its educational and noncommercial attributes, KDVS is a freeform radio station which gives the DJs greater control.

“Anyone can pretty much play what they want. That’s why it’s really important to keep this radio station going. Berkeley has the infamous grandma rule, so during your show you have to play three genres that your grandma could tell apart. Here, if you wanna play disco for three hours, you can,” Corcoran said.

Bethany Judson, a fourth-year comparative literature major, is programming director at KDVS. Judson also talked about the value of the station.

“We have stuff in the stacks that you can’t find on YouTube. KDVS is one of the largest collections of public music on the West Coast. It’s like a living forum of music,” Judson said.

During fundraiser week, airtime is inverted so that it is made up of 80 percent talking and 20 percent music. DJs are placed together to put on combined shows. Despite the serious fundraising efforts, the volunteers maintain a fun atmosphere in the studio during the week.

“Every show tries to get as much [donations] as they can and they do funny stunts. The metal guys definitely get a little bit crazy,” Judson said.

As well as DJs asking for pledges on air, KDVS will be hosting events in Davis and Sacramento during the week. Events will include dance parties, film screenings and bands playing in local venues. A full list of events will be published on the KDVS website.

“For the fundraiser, we usually kick things off around Picnic Day,” said Nicole Lesnett, a fifth-year international relations major and office coordinator at KDVS. “Then, for a full week, we alter a lot of our programming so most DJs will be talking about what KDVS means to them and what they’ve gotten out of it: special memories, connections or opportunities.”

KDVS relies mainly on underwriting or advertising spots for local businesses and the support of listeners to continue running. Premiums or gifts will be offered as an incentive for donations.

“We really couldn’t do it without the community. We’re so thankful and grateful for everyone who has contributed each year. In exchange, we have a lot of packages like vinyl, gift certificates, T-shirts, you name it, to say thank you for those donations,” Lesnett said.

Fundraising week is planned well in advance each year, and this year’s committee has worked hard to ensure the $50,000 target is met. The annual event also brings the volunteers of KDVS together for a shared cause.

“It’s my favorite time of year to be a part of KDVS; the whole station comes together. People sleep on the couches, they eat their meals here, they’re here between every class. I feel like it’s the time you’re most connected to the station,” Lesnett said.

You can make a donation online at https://fundraiser.kdvs.org/.

ZOE SHARPLES can be reached at arts@theaggie.org.

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