John DeBella Veterans Radiothon Nets $192K
December 12, 2015
WMGK-FM morning man John DeBella hosted his 9th annual Veterans Radiothon this past June with a live broadcast outside the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on June 19th. The goal was to raise more than last year’s total of $147,000. To reach that goal, the station accepted call-in and secure online donations. WMGK-FM also set up multiple online auctions through eBay, featuring front-row tickets, autographed items and experiences that money can’t buy with artists like The Who, Eagles, Van Halen, Styx, Foreigner, Doobie Brothers, George Thorogood and others.
An impressive list of musicians and politicians called in during DeBella’s broadcast to encourage listeners to donate for this great cause. Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh, David Crosby & Graham Nash of Crosby Stills & Nash, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolfe and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter all expressed the need to support these brave men and women.
Perhaps the most gracious contribution of all was from Rod Stewart. Not only did he call in to support the cause and encourage people to donate, but for the second year in a row, he made a surprise donation of $10,000. Stewart also agreed to take part in the radiothon every year going forward.
“Last year, we had a great interview with Rod and he informed us how much veterans charities meant to him. Without telling us, he made a $10,000 to the radiothon. We spoke to him during the radiothon this year, and once again, without telling us what he was going to do, he donated $10,000. This man puts his money where his heart is,” commented the very grateful John DeBella.
In memory of her father, a decorated WWII veteran named Harold Kapp, John’s wife, Lisa, along with an anonymous donor, promised to match every $100 donation made, resulting in a donation of $10,000.
WMGK-FM advertisers also rose to the occasion this year. Donations came in from Motor Car Makeover of Blue Bell, Delaware Valley University, Fred Beans Lincoln, Jiffy Lube, CertainTeed, Keswick Cycle, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776, Drexel University, Always Best Care Senior Services of Philadelphia, Golden Nugget Casino Hotel and Marina, Hyundai of Turnersville, and Barbara’s Autoland.
All funds raised went directly to the Veterans Multi-Service Center (VMC) in Philadelphia. The VMC’s mission is to provide services, programs, opportunity and advancement to veterans and their families.
Over the past nine years, John DeBella has raised nearly $1 million for the VMC in his annual radiothon. His dedication to veterans has been recognized by various organizations—the VMC has named an award after him, and in 2012 he received the Veteran Champion of the Year Award from the Philadelphia Small Business Association.
The radiothon raised $192,000, an increase of $45,000 over last year’s total.