The Chaparral

KMIR collects $115,000 for hurricane Harvey flood victims

By Katie Shain

Staff Writer

Sept. 6, 2017. Holliday Beach, Texas. Red Cross Spiritual Care Volunteers Zonia and Scott with destruction from Hurricane Harvey.
Photo by Chuck Haupt for the American Red Cross.

KMIR the neighboring television station to COD collected $115,000 at a one day event to benefit victims of hurricane Harvey. According to KMIR’s Vice President and General Manager Gene Steinberg, “it took only four days after receiving the inspired phone call from the American Red Cross’ Lois Beckman to become a full-blown fundraising media event.”

By Aug. 31, the team of collaborators included KMIR, The American Red Cross and Alpha Media Radio Broadcast Group. KBHR radio helped out with aiding Spanish speakers and local restaurant Manhattan in the Desert generously jumped in and catered the entire day’s event for free.

“We have a big mouth, I like to say with a smile on my face,” said Steinberg. “Truly I’m shocked.” Breaking all known KMIR records to date, this was their landmark fundraiser as far as Steinberg recalls, “the most money ever raised for a one day event.”

Steinberg said hundreds of people dropped by. At the end of the day he feels this the right things to do. “We’re broadcasters, we’re here to serve the community and all communities. The nice thing about being a television station is we can scream very loud. There is some irony in this. How did all the money get raised? In the desert? The list of high priorities for people living in the Coachella Valley to worry about is usually not flooding, maybe earthquakes or sunburns. All this money collected in a desert that gets about 6 inches of rain? It was great, it was fun, it was teamwork and we put it on pretty quickly.”

The donation event began at 6 a.m. and continued until 6:30 p.m. with cars driving through to make contributions to benefit the survivors of the worst recorded flood in United States history. All the funds collected are earmarked by Red Cross for Flood Relief victims in Texas. The Red Cross is said to return 91 cents of every dollar directly to those affected.

Steinberg shared his favorite story of the day. After all the tents were set up and the donors were beginning to line the driveway, he noticed a large waste management truck ambling down the driveway. Steinberg became concerned the truck would not be able to pass through to the recycle area. As he approached the truck, he was greeted by a grin and a $20 dollar bill. The driver just wanted to participate in the donations. Steinberg was so moved that he ran back into the television studio and gathered some KMIR gifts to give the driver as a big thank you. “He just wanted to do his part,” said Steinberg.

Further donations can be sent directly to the Red Cross located at 39645 Entrepreneur Ln, Palm Desert, Calif. 92211 or donate online.

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