koto fundraising poster Overview copyBeyond KOTO, the FM and AM radio dials are a wasteland, crowded with commercial stations offering not very much worthwhile around the clock, an incessant roar of rock, C & W, lots of “oldies,” inane (and insane) chatter and harsh rap. Of the 900 or so public radio stations in the nation, only threel are like KOTO, accepting no commercials or commercial underwriting whatsoever.

For 38 years, KOTO has been broadcasting 20 hours a day, 365 days a year from a 8,900-watt transmitter located about 200 yards west of the Coonskin lift. Over 2,500 community supporters comprise the membership. There are more than 200 licensed volunteer DJs, half of who are active on-air. A seven-member board, elected annually for two-year terms at KOTO’s July meeting, provides guidance and oversight. The new executive director is Dina Coates Koebler.

Of KOTO’s operating income, just over 20 percent comes from grants; the balance is from community-based initiatives such as the Bluegrass KOTO beer booth (although that’s not happening this summer) and on/off-air drives such as the winter’s fundraising campaign, now in full swing.

It all began with a sold out Lip Sync at The Palm  – you go mcs Suzanne Cheavens and Ashley Boling – and continued with a star-studded Guest DJ Day. But if you missed your chance to support your local radio station, stayed tuned: Name That Tune is next.

Name that Tune. The contest takes place Friday, February 8, 7 p.m. at Smuggler’s. Test your musical IQ and get your team together NOW. (Who to beat: 39 Steps, sponsored by Jeff Price, has won the last two years.)

• KOTO’s 8th annual cribbage tournament follows. The party takes place Monday, February 19, 7 p.m. at Oak.

KOTO presents Sound Tribe Sector 9. The concerts on Monday, March 4 and Tuesday, March 5, take place at the Telluride Conference Center, Mountain Village. Doors @ 7. Showtime is 8 p.m. (Family entertainment.)

And there’s Big New News on KOTO On Air fundraising, straight from the horses’ mouth, Janice “Jumpin’ Zink, KOTO’s marketing/promotion queen and the station’s Special Events Coordinator.

In an effort to expedite the On Air campaign, during the first week, Friday, February 1 – Thursday, February 7. Great prizes, daily drawings will be held. Pledges made any time during the week could win donors brunch for four at The New Sheridan Chop House, a night for two at Hotel Telluride, tickets to The Ride, and more.

All pledges made during the winter On Air drive are eligible for the Grand Prize drawing which will includes three nights for two at The New Sheridan Hotel, plus dinner for two at The New Sheridan Chop House, a $100 gift certificate for The Cosmopolitan, a $100 gift certificate that can be used at La Pizzeria, La Piazza or Rustico, and two passes for The Peaks Resort and Golden Door Spa.That is an over-the-top $1,300 gift package.

Jumpin’ has been involved with KOTO for over 20 years. Throughout the year, this talented lady throws her hat in the ring –  one of many in a fabulous, signature collection  – to raise the funds necessary to keep KOTO rolling. The goal for the winter season?: $50,000.

Here’s what Junpin’ has to say about one of Telluride’s defining institutions and why you should reach into your piggybank to support KOTO fm radio.

To learn more, press the “play” button and listen to our chat.

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