Cindy Lowery, an Alzheimer’s Association representative, presented the trophies on the air during Friday’s “Mark in the Morning” segment. One was handed to Will Jones in recognition of the radio station. The other was given to radio DJ Mark Grissom who hosted the almost 27-hour event.
Both trophies boasted of the radiothon’s national top 50 rank.
According to the association, the grand total from the event was $13,393. The show went on the air at 6 a.m. on a Thursday and ran until almost 9 a.m. the next morning.
Grissom said a few words about the honor during Friday’s show.
“Thanks to everyone,” he said to the donors. “God Bless all of you.”
Grissom called on a few friends to help him carry the fundraiser nonstop for the entire 26 1/2-hour stretch. These included, but were not limited to, Lisa Geren, Debbie Williams, Allan Jones, Lowery, Dr. Jay McCluskey and Christy Griffith.
Added Grissom, “It was a lot of fun.”
Lowery called the support from the community “great.” Individuals showed up at the station, situated in the Village Green beside the Bald Headed Bistro, to drop off everything from $1.50 to $500 checks.
“The [radio] marathon was good,” McCluskey said. He made the second half of the marathon to help carry the team home. “It was real quiet [around 3 a.m.], but it gave us a chance to talk about our personal stories.”
“As the morning went on, momentum picked up,” McCluskey added “More and more people showed up. More and more money poured in. We were able to finish on a high note.”
Lowery said she would like the next radiothon to raise at least $20,000.
“We appreciate everyone in Cleveland for the support,” she said. “We hope that everyone will come through again this year.”
She said improvements will be made to the second radiothon.
“Last year was the first time we did it,” Lowery said. “Everything went great, but there are things we are going to add, like credit card donations, that will make it even better.”
Grissom’s mother suffered from Alzheimer’s in the last years of her life. He kept a picture of her next to his setup in the radio station throughout the duration of the 26 1/2 hours. He explained it allowed him to work through the long hours when he would hit a wall.
“It is a thing that is close to Mark’s heart because of his mother, so he brought that personal connection to it,” McCluskey said. “That was the passion that drove it. He started the idea and it was just kind of fun to see how it took off and came together so well.”
Grissom said there was nothing else he wanted to do a radiothon for besides Alzheimer’s.
“Dec. 14, 2010, my mom passed away from Alzheimer’s. She had it about five years before she died. The last five months before she died she got real sick and we had to put her in a nursing home,” he said. “There is no question Alzheimer’s awareness is very important to me, because I watched my mother fade away from the disease.”