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Radio-thon raises $70,000

Saturday 20 February 2010 | Published in Regional

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Rarotonga’s radio waves were buzzing yesterday with pledges of cash donations, bids for items on auction and calls of support raising about $70,000 for the Aitutaki Cyclone Appeal.

The three commercial radio stations on Rarotonga – Radio Cook Islands, 88FM and Matariki FM – dedicated yesterday to raising funds to help the people of Aitutaki.

Radio Cook Islands began a nationwide radio-thon at 12pm yesterday and by 6pm had $55,984 in pledges.

The highest single pledge was $5000 from local business Vonnia’s.

Pledges were received right across the Cooks with numerous callers from the outer islands pledging what they could towards the fund.

The radio-thon was to wrap up at 6 o’clock last night with the collection of the funds to begin today.

Matariki FM encouraged their listeners to deliver their cash donations to the radio station and at 3pm yesterday station owner William Framhein reported that the station had raised $4500 of which most of that amount had been received in cash.

Framhein said that they would wrap up their radio-thon at 6pm.

Meanwhile the crew at 88FM were kept on their toes all day as they received products to be auctioned on air.

Plane tickets from Air Rarotonga and Air New Zealand were the hottest items during the day with a number of cell phones from Telecom Cook Islands and designer outfits from Polynesia by Design also going under the hammer.

The Air New Zealand return ticket to Auckland went into a draw with listeners who made donations of $20 being eligible for the ticket.

The Lusby family made a donation of $500 to the cause and they were drawn as the winner of the Air New Zealand ticket.

However, the family offered the airline ticket back to 88FM to be auctioned off and it was sold for $1000 to winning bidder Sebon Nicholas of Nikao.

At 6pm yesterday, 88FM reported that they had raised $9551 in cash and pledges and were gunning to reach the $10,000 mark.

All funds raised by the radio stations will be handed over to the Aitutaki Cyclone Appeal Committee.