Formerly known as WQME, the new 98.7 The Song is a positive and uplifting radio station that broadcasts throughout central Indiana and is a student media organization at AU.
AU senior Ariana Moffitt is a student manager at 98.7 and works with 98.7’s sales/marketing director to record, edit and produce commercials. She loves her job because “it is a relaxing and fun environment, and everyone has a positive attitude. That makes it a joy to work there every day.”
Since its beginning, the radio station has been known as WQME and has been a place that people from Anderson to Indianapolis turn to for fun, contemporary music with messages of faith and hope.
The transition from WQME to 98.7 The Song is being kicked off with its first community outreach event, 98 Days of Caring. The goal of WQME’s rebranding is to begin to market to a new audience as well as to maintain and strengthen its relationship with the existing audience.
Kurt Wallace has been a DJ at 98.7 The Song since summer of 2015, and he hosts the well-known weekly national music countdown “Weekend Top 20.” He came up with the idea of 98 Days of Caring while brainstorming ways to spread the word of the station’s new beginning.
“When most stations rebrand, they do contests and giveaways, but our format is different because the songs we play impact peoples’ lives. So what’s a good way to introduce our station as a community-centered station? Launch our new brand by serving people,” Wallace said about the underlying purpose of 98 Days of Caring.
Wallace’s goal is to make sure the community knows that 98.7 truly cares about central Indiana and wants to make as big of a difference as they can.
98 Days of Caring began on Feb. 5 and will continue through May 12. During this period of time, an individual or group of people sent out by 98.7 The Song will be serving our broader community in some capacity each day.
So far, groups have spent the afternoon visiting residents at Bethany Village Assisted Living Home, carried groceries for people at Payless in Anderson, helped clean up Shadyside Park and spent time with kids at a local elementary school. In addition, lifeguards from AU have assisted Special Olympics athletes in the pool.
Groups have signed up to serve meals to the homeless in downtown Indy, to mentor people of all ages at local community centers, to volunteer at food pantries and visit nursing homes. Wallace believes this type of service is so important. “People [in nursing homes] are forgotten very often. All it takes to make an impact is listening to them and laughing with them.”
98.7 is looking for volunteers to read to and tutor students, as well as help the janitorial staff clean at Liberty Christian School. AU students who are passionate about children are especially encouraged to help out in these ways. The Anderson Public Library would also greatly benefit from volunteers helping to shelve books.
Audree Ritchie, a freshman at AU and 98.7’s promotions director, is excited about the way the station has chosen to rebrand itself. “This event is reflective of the station’s values of community, service and love,” she said.
Ritchie believes that 98 Days of Caring is going to positively impact our community, the radio station and all who volunteer their time and resources. “It can be an opportunity to challenge yourself. You could even take a leap of faith and sign up for more than one day.” Ritchie would encourage any group on AU’s campus to take an entire week and divide up the days between its members.
If you don’t want to volunteer by yourself, you can sign up with a group of friends. 98 Days of Caring is a great way to utilize your passions because you have the opportunity to choose what you will do to serve. “All you have to do is contact us [at the station] and say you want to help or tell us about your own project idea,” said Wallace.
Ultimately, Wallace says that 98 Days of Caring “shows others how easy it is to make a difference in the community. It encourages families, friends and individuals to serve and it introduces people to organizations that are making a difference.”