GREENVILLE — Christian radio station STAR 88.3 held a celebration at the Greenville YMCA Tuesday night to commemorate being on the air in the Greenville area for two years. The event included music, snacks from Teresa’s Cakes and Tasteful Treasures Cookies, drawings for door prizes, and other activities.
STAR 88.3 moved into the area after Positive Alternative Radio, the owners of Darke County’s former Christian radio station, Joy FM, decided to close the station in 2015.
“It’s not free to take over something like this,” said Melissa Montana, president and CEO of STAR Educational Media Network, the Fort Wayne, Indiana-based company that owns STAR 88.3 and other stations. “It was a huge financial responsibility, but we prayed about it and decided to take it on.”
According to Greenville-based community representative Naomi Cantrell, the STAR team holds regular meetings at local restaurants and coffee shops to determine how they can help make Greenville a better place to live.
“We meet regularly with a cross-section of people in the community,” Cantrell said, “to see what issues there are in the area that we may be able to help with.”
This includes working with Community Action Partnership, the local chapter of a national social service organization that provides clothing and heating bill assistance, among other programs, to households struggling with poverty. STAR promoted the program over the radio and encouraged listeners to reach out for assistance. They’ve also promoted Big Brothers/Big Sisters and other community organizations.
In addition, STAR brought the church group Revive Ohio to Greenville.
“We did a car wash in the Taco Bell parking lot,” Cantrell said. “The signs said $1 Car Wash, but when you pulled in they gave you a dollar and then washed your car.”
Afterward, Cantrell said, they learned that a local dance studio had been attempting to do a car wash fundraiser nearby, so they gave the donations they’d received to them.
STAR also operates “Give Love,” a program where listeners nominate someone from the community who is going through a hard time, and the winner receives a basket of gifts, including gift cards to Wal-Mart and other local businesses.
STAR will have a booth at the Great Darke County Fair Saturday, including a Plinko game where players can win tickets to Illumination Festival, a Christian music event taking place at the county fairgrounds September 16.
“People love the fair booths,” said Kinsey Williams, promotions director for STAR 88.3. “They like to put a face with what they’re hearing, and it gives us the chance to meet our listeners and their families, and let them know we want to be a part of their lives in more ways than just hearing us on the radio.”
In Greenville, STAR’s broadcast can be heard at 88.9 FM. It is also available via an online app.
“The joy of technology allows us to be everywhere, and to serve the community well,” company CEO Montana said. “But in the end we always ask ourselves, ‘how can we help? What can we do to make a difference? We’re always talking about how to help the community.”
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