HAZARD — The Perry County senior center held its 41st annual Radio Day fundraiser that pays for many of the services offered to the seniors of Perry County.
Even in a down economy with hundreds of jobs being lost across the county, the senior center was able to raise thousands of dollars to help fund programs for the oldest and wisest of the area. Each year for one day in May, WSGS radio in Hazard turns over the airwaves until late afternoon to allow the center to solicit donations. This year, center Director Kim Boggs said that they raised nearly $77,000 in pledges.
“To have $77,000 in one day’s work, that’s a pretty good day of work,” said Boggs.
While radio day is only held for a few hours once a year, the work getting donations and writing letters for this fundraising event starts early in the year. Boggs said that some of the donations actually come in before the official Radio Day begins.
“A lot of people think that it is just on the radio, but what we do is we start actually in January preparing for this day,” said Boggs. “We send out like a letter before, so we have some donations that come in before the Radio Day so we can go ahead and start reading pledges and things like that.”
This year, the senior center received several large donations that made up over half of their total. Dave and Susie Duff, along with the employees of Pine Branch Coal, donated over $30,000. The Perry County Fiscal Court donated $10,000 and several local businesses donated over $1,000 each. Boggs said seeing a response like this made her and the seniors ecstatic.
“It really boosted their spirit, and you could hear them all cheer,” said Boggs.
Boggs noted that she does not normally feel comfortable soliciting money, but this effort is worth it because the money raised goes entirely toward activities for the seniors.
“[It pays for] everything from their Rook cards to their trips, but it does not include our payroll or our electric because the county covers that for us,” said Boggs. “So 100 percent of the proceeds go to the seniors.”
The money helps to keep the local seniors both active in the community and mobile. The center helps the local seniors with transportation to different activities and necessary trips.
“It goes for everything that we do here for the seniors,” said Boggs. “It includes gasoline for our van to transport, it includes any activity, any day trip, any night trip.”
Boggs said that they are very thankful for the community’s ongoing support of the center, and said that the support shows. The Perry County senior center was named best in the state for the second year in a row.
“The community is real good,” she said. “I think a lot of people mark their calendars. Every single one of our (county) officials support us.”