Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Thank You For Making VPR's Membership Drive A Success!

On behalf of everyone at VPR, I just wanted to say thank you so much for making VPR's membership drive a success. The drive ended last Friday and 5,173 of you pledged $540,000 to pay for the programming you rely on.

You power VPR with your financial support, but your comments and reflections also make the case for supporting VPR better than any of us ever could. Here is just a small sampling of the notes we received during this drive:

"When I am listening to other stations, I am made aware of just how special VPR is. First, I love VPR Classical. It is such a pleasure to awaken to John Zech every morning; he has a great voice, a great sense of humor and plays wonderful music. I also think Joe Goetz is a wonderful announcer. The same thing goes for Mitch Wertlieb; he is funny, unpretentious, intelligent and a real pleasure to listen to. This is what I love about all the VPR staff; one just gets the sense that these people are very warm, friendly, intelligent and love what they do. VPR feels homey. It feels sincere. It feels accessible. I don't know if I am just getting older and wiser, but I have enjoyed listening to this fund drive, because I really hear what the staff is saying - that donating to VPR is donation to the whole Vermont community, a contribution to our small, wonderful and very special state which we love so much."

"After the kids had trundled off to school, I had a second cup of coffee and reflected on the part VPR/NPR has played in our lives. I don't think our boys remember a time when the radio wasn't on in the morning for breakfast or in the evening while dinner is being prepared. It has sparked many discussion - from gay marriage, to assistance for returning soldiers, to the attributes of the various Republican Presidential candidates. Our sons have developed an informed view of the world! Thanks for being part of our lives."

"No one wants to spend money they don't have to but here is what you may not know if you have not done this yet - it feels good. You'll feel better waiting for the drive to end having done your part - no gift too small, it's about all of us doing together what none of us can do by ourselves. I bet over 90% of us would be sorry if VPR was not just a button away. We just renewed our membership. Modest level but we're in. Thank you to all those others who are acting this month to help out."

Your generosity and passion is both humbling and inspiring, and ensures that this independent, community-supported source for news, music, and conversation will stay strong well into the future.

So, thanks. VPR wouldn't be here without you!

Friday, February 24, 2012

The News Is Very Serious Business.

But that doesn't prevent the VPR News team from writing silly songs to entertain and thank our loyal volunteers during our membership drive. We've heard pledge drive-themed songs based on the theme from Three's Company, Do-Re-Mi, and the theme from Gilligan's Island...and let's not forget Mitch Wertlieb's funky beats.

We take our responsibility to provide essential news, information, music, and conversation very seriously, but sometimes we just need to show a little love for the listeners and members that make VPR thrive! Do you have a public radio-themed ditty to share? Let us know and it may make the rounds at our next fundraiser. Also, donations of funny hats are welcomed and encouraged!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

DJ Mitch Lays Down The Funk, Yo

As most Morning Edition listeners know, host Mitch Wertlieb can sometimes get a little, well...excited during membership drives. He's the kind of guy whose enthusiasm for public radio and the importance of listener support is so intense that he just can't keep it in.

Which is how he sometimes gets himself in (metaphorical) trouble.

Two mornings in a row, he's brought out his now-famous impression of Grandma Wertlieb, reciting what his grandmother would say if Mitch didn't support his public radio station.

There was also the great Pushups for Pledges incident of 2011. And the now-infamous shower scene from last October. And the beard-shaving fiasco of 2009.

So no one was really surprised when Mitch promised that if we met our morning pledge goal, he'd recite a little rap sent to us by VPR members Diane and William Ferriter of Thetford.

Unfortunately we came up a mere 7 pledges short - but despite, in Mitch's words, his "profound lack of beat rhythm, cadence, and timing," we convinced him to record it anyway. Enjoy!

If you haven't had the chance, we hope you'll make a contribution today online, or by calling 1-800-639-6391. We promise to not let Mitch rap anymore but we can't vouch for what he'll think of next.

Listen to Mitch Wertlieb rap here.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

VPR News Honored In State House Resolution

Vermont Public Radio was honored last month in a Resolution of the Vermont Legislature for VPR's news coverage of Tropical Storm Irene.

The Resolution specifically honors Vermont Edition "for its extraordinary community service in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene," and for its "factual and reassuring voice, enabling Vermonters to comprehend the extent of the storm-related damage...".

It also recognizes the efforts of the VPR staff for keeping people informed via and social media.

(Photo: Vermont Edition Managing Producer Patti Daniels, Producer Ric Cengeri, and Host Jane Lindholm with the resolution.)

Friday, February 10, 2012

iPad 2 Winner

Congratulations to Brenda Bergstrom of Burlington, winner of our iPad 2 drawing! Brenda has been a VPR member since 1991!

She stopped by our studios yesterday to pick up her prize. As we were giving her a tour, Brenda told us that she has never won anything before - except for a stuffed bear!

We're giving away more cool prizes during the upcoming drive, including a vacation at Jay Peak Resort and a trip to see Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me live in Chicago! Make a pledge today to be sure you're entered in all the remaining drawings!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Vermont Writes Day

What would you write if you dedicated seven minutes of your day?

Whether you prefer sonnet, haiku, poem or prose, set aside some time on Tuesday, February 7th and join thousands statewide for the third annual Young Writers Project "Vermont Writes Day!"

Schools, organizations and businesses across Vermont will take part.

The writing process and outcome is entirely up to you, but if you need a nudge, visit the Vermont Writes Day website for suggestions and writing prompts.

YWP will also have a place to display writing and provide feedback.

You can visit the website ahead of time and then submit your writing on Tuesday.

Write on!