HPR fund drive raises $1 million in pledges

Published On: Oct 28 2013 02:15:16 PM HST

Local businessman Dick Gushman donated $100,000 to Hawaii Public Radio.  Gushman got one million Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles which he will donate to help transport families from the neighbor islands to Oahu for medical care.


Hawaii Public Radio closed its Celebration 2013 fund drive at 6:32 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 25, having surpassed the original goal of $992,000 with an unprecedented $1,003,030 in total pledges.

Over the course of the 10-day campaign, the station received 2,621 unique gifts, many received online.  Renewing members made up more than 60 percent of contributors, and nearly twenty percent of those donating became "sustaining members" committed to continuing their support of the station with ongoing monthly installments.

One of those new sustaining members called from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This long-distance caller told HPR she "listens every day via streaming."  The station also gained 144 of the nearly 400 new members from neighboring islands Hawaii, Maui, Molokai, and Kauai.

HPR President and General Manager Michael Titterton took to the air immediately after declaring the fall drive concluded with a round of thanks for the station's members, volunteers, Board, and staff.

"Because of all of you, our ambitious dream of becoming Hawaii's only statewide radio network with two quality programming streams will be a reality before our next pledge drive," said Titterton.  "We’ve always held that we are in the community-building business and crossing the million-dollar threshold tonight tells us that our community recognizes the value of our mission and wants to build with us."

Even before the drive commenced on Oct. 16, more than a thousand donors had contributed $229,518.

The station's fundraising efforts were given a significant boost by long-time HPR listener and member, local real estate developer Dick Gushman.  His $100,000 gift and innovative application of his million HawaiianMiles thank you gift subsequently inspired contributions from 49 other donors.

Following Gushman's lead, they regifted their Hawaiian Airlines premium to Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women and Children's Family Fund, which will dedicate the frequent flyer miles to transporting Neighbor Island children and families needing Kapi'olani's specialized medical care. At the close of the drive on Oct. 25, the combined contributions to the Radio Flyer program were 1,131,050 HawaiianMiles.

Titterton noted, "For the first time in the station's history, due in large part to the generosity and genius of Dick Gushman, our semi-annual drive has raised not only the funds necessary for HPR’s operation, but has significantly benefited another non-profit: Kapi'olani Medical Center. We are proud to have played a part in giving back to our community in this novel fashion. More than a million miles for our keiki, more than a million dollars in pledges -- Celebration 2013 has truly been a campaign to remember."


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