Radio station WFMU is hoping pledge donors can send manager and his canvas chair aloft with helium balloons
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
By ASHLEY STRAIN
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER
Is that a man in a lawn chair floating in front of the New York skyline? If you pledge support to Jersey City-based WFMU 91.1 FM, it just might be.
The radio station's pledge marathon is scheduled for tomorrow, 9 a.m. until noon.
If the station can raise $180,000 during the "2010 Year-End Lift-Off," WFMU station manager Ken Freedman has vowed to take flight in his favorite lawn chair. For every $1,000 pledge, a helium balloon will be tied to Freedman's chair.
"The station found that we were $180,000 short of our yearly $1.4 million budget," Freedman explained yesterday. "I weigh 180 pounds and we found out that it would take 180 balloons to lift me off the ground . So this just seemed like the obvious thing to do."
The station is located at 72 York St. Freedman plans to broadcast live from the station's parking lot beginning at 9 a.m. and will even be live as he prepares to take flight at 11 a.m. "I'm nervous a little," he said. "But I researched this a lot so I know it can be done safely."
Weather, though, is a wild card.
"If it's too windy that day then we will postpone the flight but not the fundraiser," he said. "As long as the weather is OK, I'm pretty confident that we can raise the funds to get me in the air."
WFMU is a certified 501(c)(3) that relies on donations to keep the station on the air. It has seven full-time paid employees and between 100 and 200 volunteers at a time, Freedman said.
The station has a free-form format, giving deejays complete control over their shows and featuring music ranging from blues to Beatbox.