99.3 County FM celebrates five years of broadcasting

BELT IT OUT- Penny Kitchen hits the high note at the 5th anniversary celebration of County 99.3 FM at the CAPE on Saturday night. (Desirée Decoste/Gazette Staff)

 

DESIRÉE DECOSTE

STAFF WRITER

The air was cold but the hearts were warm as 99.3 County FM celebrated its 5th year of community-oriented broadcasting with their “County FM Harvest” dinner celebration at The Cape Saturday night.

The vision/mission of the radio station when they began five years ago has, for the most part, stayed the same.

“The vision of the station hasn’t really changed since five years ago,” stated Craig Mills, General Manager of 99.3 County FM. “The whole thing was to connect Prince Edward County and be an essential service when it’s needed. I don’t think the vision has changed at all, we’re just trying to be enhance and focus on the original mission and vision of the station.”

The voices of the community have had a steady rotation of being involved with 99.3 FM. Some folks come and go, taking a break before being lured back to help out in similar or different capacities. With the station being powered by a group of dedicated volunteers, ‘volunteer burnout’ was a question posed to Mills

“The people who are there that are volunteers, I don’t know if it’s burnout as much as sometimes people just have things in their life that they leave for awhile and then come back,” said Mills. “For example we have a wonderful person who is part of a hops farm, Catherine Crawford. She comes back but theres things like harvest time where we lose a volunteer for three months, and we lose people in the winter when they all want to go down south. So I don’t think burnout has been an issue as much as just balancing other life needs. People come and go so it’s really nice when people say to me ‘I’m planning on coming back in June,’ which is awesome.”

The station knows it wouldn’t be running if it wasn’t for all the volunteerism that happens there as well as the continued support of the community.

Mills added the station is not a fledgling entity any more.

The Frere Brothers. (Desirée Decoste/Gazette Staff)

“We’re very financially responsible and all of our information is on our governance page online. People can read about the finances and how we run the station and learn more. But we still need the continued support of the community and so we have to make sure we earn it and provide value at all times,” Mills said.

Mills added while donations and volunteerism are vital, station organizers don’t want to be badgering the public all the time for donations so the group really appreciates support during radiothons and other designated  fundraising events.

Some silent auction items included 99.3 swag bags, 99.3 County FM co-host a show, City Revival, PEC Chamber Music Festival tickets, Montreal Canadian hockey tickets, Wellington Dukes tickets, multiple Regent Theatre packages, Dresses, Yoga with Carrie, Miss Emily cd’s and many, many more items were available to bid on.

The fine dining was from a wide variety of County restaurants and crafts people including County Canteen, La Condesa PEC, The Crepe Escape, Idle Wild PEC, Papa Ghanoush & MommaHummus, Chef Chris Bryne catering, Flame & Smith, The County Cider Company, Three Dog Winery, Huff Estates Winery, 555 Brewing Company, Midtown Brewery Company, Honey Pie Hives & Herbals, The County Roasters, The County Soda Company and Pure County Bottled Water with a special thanks to Flowers by Marvin and Lockyer’s County Gardens.

Music/entertainment for the evening started in The Cape building with the Telegraph Narrows (folk) and Ella Jade (contemporary/pop). From there the music moved to the heated main tent with The Frere Brothers (folk/comedy), Penny & John Kitchen (Jazz), Instant Rivalry (country/rock) and 62 South (rock).

The event also carried a silent auction, local live music and a cash bar.

For more information on the radio station or to find out how to volunteer please visit 993countyfm.ca