WGCA’s 34th Sharathon fundraiser will stress ‘positivity’

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QUINCY — The upcoming 34th annual WGCA Sharathon will serve a double purpose.

As always, it will be the year’s chief fundraiser for Quincy’s contemporary Christian radio station, but there will be an underlying theme, too. The memory of the late Bruce Rice will be celebrated throughout the 34th annual Sharathon, which will be a three-day, on-air event Oct. 13-15.

Rice, who with his wife, Maxine, founded WGCA-FM 88.5 in 1987. The couple helped guide the station until both announced their retirement less than a year ago. Rice later died in May. He was 75.

“This was all inspired by Bruce,” said Bob Daly, a longtime employee of WGCA who was named executive director earlier this year. “Bruce will always live on through this station and this event, and the mission of this station will also continue to live on.”

Sharathon annually helps cover 50 to 60 percent of WGCA’s operating expenses, with underwriting sponsors covering the rest. In recent years, Sharathon has generated between $300,000 and $350,000 through listeners’ donations. The station’s principal listener base is spread across West-Central Illinois, Northeast Missouri and Southeast Iowa, but is also heard worldwide on the internet, registering listeners in more than 70 countries.

“A message of positivity will be stressed during this year’s Sharathon,” Daly said. “WGCA is the positive hit station. People come to us for encouragement. We’re trying to be here for many years to come.”

WGCA, which is also a major backer of the local Christian Ministers Fellowship, has brought a wide variety of major Christian artists to Quincy through the years, filling such indoor venues as the Oakley-Lindsay Center and Quincy Junior High School. The station has also sponsored a series of successful outdoor concerts. WGCA has long networked with local churches of all denominations, plus social service agencies, in an effort to help meet the demands of those in the community in need of housing, food and other necessities.

More information on Sharathon may be found at wgca.org, calling WGCA at 217-228-9422 or emailing themix@wgca,org.

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