Volunteers getting ready for Christmas basket project
With less than two weeks to go a few donations have already arrived at Brownsville Radio for this year’s Christmas Basket Radiothon.
The project started three decades ago. This year’s event marks the 30th anniversary. The original Radiothon cast included Paul Jackson, Webb Banks, Franklin Smith and Carlton Veirs. All four have manned microphones through the years and will do so, along with many others, again this year.
Jackson was Brownsville Radio’s morning man when the project started. Webb Banks joined Jackson for a 15-minute talk segment every morning. Franklin Smith was the president of the Brownsville Jaycees. The Jaycees organized the distribution. As the event evolved over the years Smith became the co-sponsor and head of logistics.
While there is no official accounting, organizers say Brownsville Radio listeners have contributed more than $600,000 over the years. All of the money is used to buy groceries and gifts for the needy.
The Radiothon is Friday morning December 5 and starts about 7:20 a.m. Continuing until about noon, sponsors hope to raise more than $20,000. The baskets will be delivered Saturday December 20.
The radio project comes just one day ahead of the Brownsville Christmas Parade. Charles Wills and Bennie Morrison are this year’s co-grand marshals.