Radiothon raises $1.3 million in 16 hours

by Mary Zaleski

The Salvation Army’s 30th Annual Bed & Bread Club® Radiothon, presented by Ford Motor Company Fund, raised $1.3 million to fight hunger and homelessness in Metro Detroit. The 16-hour event aired live from the Emagine Theatre in Royal Oak, Mich., on News/Talk 760 WJR.

For the eighth consecutive year, The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit partnered with television and radio on-air personalities with a special hosting appearance by corporate champion Jim Vella, president of Ford Motor Company Fund and National Advisory Board member.

“The Salvation Army is dedicated to Doing the Most Good through the Bed & Bread program, and it is humbling to see the generosity of this community in supporting our neighbors in need,” said Lt. Colonel John Turner, Eastern Michigan divisional commander. “We extend our sincerest thanks to WJR, Ford Motor Company Fund, Emagine and all those who contributed so much to make the radiothon a success.”

Dick Purtan, Bed & Bread Club chairman and retired Detroit radio Hall of Famer, returned to the airwaves to host the final four hours of the broadcast, joined by his former Purtan’s People team members.

The end of the program not only celebrated the 2017 fundraising total but the incredible contributions Purtan has made to The Salvation Army over the last 30 years as radiothon founder and Bed & Bread advocate. Throughout Purtan’s appearance on the radiothon, guests offered congratulations and donations for his work in generating support for those in need throughout Metro Detroit.

The Salvation Army marked this milestone by naming Purtan an honorary commandant presented by Commissioners Paul R. and Carol Seiler, Central territorial leaders.

EMI’s Bed & Bread Club annual radiothon is the largest single-market, single-day radio cash fundraiser in the country. Total donations have topped $­­­­33 million over the 30-year radiothon history.