When Hurricane Michael churned its way to the Gulf coast, morning drive radio host Preston Scott and his colleagues did what they have done each time a storm approached or hit the region – they broadcasted the important information to listeners.
Michael was different and historic. Its legacy is one of devastation never seen in this Panhandle of Florida. iHeart radio colleagues, like other residents and businesses in the region, have fought daily to regain a sense of normalcy, but at times it has felt like they have been alone and the aftermath of the storm has not received the attention and focus of other storms.
Scott had a feeling something was going to be different, “This storm hit an area which was largely rural with no ‘major’ city in it. I worried it would be forgotten.” The months since have proven his concern to be valid. No major music artist fund raisers. No “A” list celebrities to round-up their famous friends for the cause.
So, the long-time talk show host decided to do what he could. With his 4,000th broadcast scheduled for April 1st, he decided to use it to launch a one-month effort to raise funds, awareness, and recruit volunteers for the Hurricane Michael survivors.
Scott asserted, “Some of my colleagues lost everything. Our iHeart location in Panama City has not been fully repaired. Citizens and devastated businesses are working hard to rebuild. But people are still in tents and under tarps. It has become the ‘Forgotten Coast.’”
The Morning Show with Preston Scott has linked with the Samaritan’s Purse organization founded by Rev. Franklin Graham. The connection made sense to Scott. “Its reputation for transparency and effectiveness is well documented. Additionally, I wanted to work with a private sector entity to insure money and help got directed effectively and efficiently.”
Culminating with the 4,000th show on April 1st fund raising will continue along with efforts to recruit volunteers. The hope is to encourage those in the impacted area, many of them listeners of his radio program on 94.5FM WFLA Panama City, 100.7 FM WFLA Tallahassee, and iHeart Radio online, to challenge others outside the area to give and help however they can.
To donate or volunteer online: www.SamaritansPurse.org/WFLA
To give via phone: 828-262-1980 (re: iHeart Radio Hurricane Michael fund raiser)
To give via mail: Attn: Fundraising, Samaritan’s Purse, PO Box 3000, Boone, NC 28607