PULLMAN–Despite the economy, a fire alarm and time constraints, Northwest Public Radio staff and volunteers took 2,400 pledges from listeners in Washington, Idaho, Oregon and British Columbia for a total of $260,000 in just one day of on-air fundraising Thursday. More calls are expected in the next few days.
 
“We expect to make our goal of 2,500 pledges by early next week. Public radio listeners are so incredibly loyal, even in hard economic times”, said Rita Brown, development director. “We received phone call after phone call from people who gave us money and thanked us for bringing them the news and music they depend on.”
 
Station Manager Roger Johnson agreed. “Northwest Public Radio is considered a necessity, not a luxury to thousands of loyal listeners. They are grateful for the service, and extremely happy that we’ve compressed our on-air campaigns down to just one day.”
 
Northwest Public Radio has reduced its fall and spring drives from week-long campaigns to one day events. This year, they’ve operated from the Communication Addition (CADD) call center, which enables the station to take a large volume of calls simultaneously.  Volunteers converged from Walla Walla, Moses Lake, Soap Lake, Tri-Cities, Ephrata and Ellensburg. They joined local volunteers from the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley and the Palouse.
 
At around 4 p.m., a fire alarm forced the volunteers and crew to abandon their call stations and reconvene in and around the studios. “We scrambled and quickly reorganized our teams. Rather than deflating the group, I think the alarm added to the esprit de corps. It’s a day we won’t soon forget,” said Sarah McDaniel, membership director.