Via WION (Ionia)

Final “Treasures for Troops” boxes ready for shipment at Saranac Post Office.

The week of November 11 through 15 was officially the week of Treasures for Troops coordinated by WION radio, and shared in collecting and public relations with MAB members WGLM AM/FM in Greenville and WRWW-LP of Lowell High School. Jim Carlyle, WION morning host and Manager said at the end of the drive, “Anyone who thinks radio is irrelevant in this day and age needs to see what 300 USPS boxes stacked up at a local post office looks like as they head to deployed servicemen and women.”

The partnership of the stations garnered enough donations for the Blue Star Mothers, Chapter #188 to package and send 300 large-size flat-rate boxes to contributed addresses of deployed military, and USO addresses. Previous years were always “record” years over the one before, with 2018 seeing 260 boxes sent. WION asked the local (Ionia) Moose Lodge to host the drive for storing, sorting, and boxing of proceeds, and the answer quickly came back with a resounding “yes” from members and Administrator, John Rogers. The drive had outgrown previous location, and the Moose is not only an advertiser of WION, but very active in the Ionia Community.

Staff, Blue Star Mothers and donations collected at Young GM in Ionia.

Broadcasts were held at the Muir Village Market, Lake Odessa Village Hall, The Ionia Moose Lodge, The Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce, and the major sponsor and provider of the drive’s “wheels”, Young Chevrolet, Buick, GMC in Ionia. Donations were welcomed at these locations, and also collected in the Lowell High School Office (and studios of WRWW-LP at the school) and new this year, the Lowell Middle School as well. Students at the Lowell station produced their own promotional announcements and presented the drive on Lowell School’s in-housel TV productions as well. Announcers Jim Carlyle and WION’s “Popeye John” hosted the broadcasts and met many of the donors to the drive. On-air challenges were made from business to business and one donation was even sent UPS from the owners of the website, “,” Scott and Eva Greczkowski in Connecticut, who are fans of the radio station and listen on the web.

A large financial donation was given this year by Reurink Roofing and Siding of Ionia along with other WION clients which allowed the Blue Star Mothers to shop for any shortages of certain products, and to help make sure postage costs at over $5500 was covered. 300 boxes is a huge amount for a small town post office to process, and Saranac’s Post Office staff was grateful for the business and, as in 2018, excellent in meeting the drive’s needs efficiently and happily.

Thanks to the generosity of West-Central Michigan radio listeners and advertisers, boxes are on their way across the world to people the stations, donors and sponsor may never meet, but are glad to help.

Radio does indeed still make a difference.