With unemployment rates at their highest in years and home foreclosures on the rise, now more than ever, families in our community need the help of valley agencies offering food, shelter, clothing and various assistance programs. West Valley Child Crisis Center, Crisis Nursery, and Child Crisis Center care for the children of these families while the parents recuperate after the loss of a job, home or other crisis. In an effort to help these agencies, we launched the first annual Crusade for Kids Dot-Com-A-Thon. By educating the public about the three Valley child crisis centers and soliciting donations, we were able to raise $23,411 for much-needed programs offered by the organizations.
We teamed up with SPP Sports to bring to the Phoenix sports community its first "Phoenix Sports Fans Choice Awards," which are similar to a local "ESPY." The shows take place annually in Chicago, LA, Denver, Philadelphia, Detroit, Dallas, Boston and now Phoenix. Each year they honor outstanding athletes who give back to their communities. Our listeners were invited to cast their votes for the Rising Star and MVP of the Phoenix Mercury, Suns, Cardinals, Coyotes, Rattlers & Diamondbacks. Some of the voters were then given the opportunity to join the star-studded cast, including our Sports 620 KTAR's Doug & Wolf, who delivered a presentation on the "Year in Phoenix Sports." There were more than 30 professional athletes and local heroes in attendance.
During the global swine flu scare in the week of April 27, we at News/Talk 92.3 KTAR took extra means to alert our listeners about the potential danger. With the pandemic originating in Mexico, our KTAR news department dispatched reporter Jim Cross to the border town of Nogales to report on the situation there. He talked with people on both sides of the border to determine their knowledge, fears and what possible preventive measures were happening there. We also consulted with the Arizona Department of Public Health, carried all the state and Maricopa County Health Department news conferences live, reported on valley school closures related to the outbreak, interviewed local doctors and hospital officials, and arranged for local physician Dr. Sam Benjamin to conduct a live internet chat with listeners, answering their questions, and distinguishing between myth and fact.