My older brother Greg introduced me to CKUA, when I spent Christmas of 2001 with him and my younger brother Stephen in Lloydminster. CKUA was always on the radio, and I was hooked.
I returned to my home in Washington, DC and started to listen online. In 2003 I moved to Edmonton. It happened to be during a fundraising drive and CKUA volunteer Stella Galbraith drove me to the station right from the airport. Although I was penniless, I knew I had to contribute to CKUA once I got my feet on the ground. And the first campaign I could, I donated $20 to ring the bell. The next campaign I started contributing $5/month. Every campaign since then I have increased my monthly donation by $1; I have no idea how much I contribute now.
I contribute because CKUA is a part of me; I like the variety of music and of announcers. I used to drive a semi throughout the province; I’ve even tuned into Spirit River. Baba and Grant used to accompany me when I drove through the night.
My wife listens to other stations but she often leaves CKUA on in her van, especially during Baba time, if I have left her radio tuned to CKUA. In fact her van, my truck, my work car, our kitchen radio, my wood shop radio and our travel trailer all have Preset #2 assigned to CKUA.
Thinking of and listening to CKUA takes me to my happy place; it relaxes me; it makes me reach for the ‘on’ button first thing every morning. Tony King, Bob Chelmick, tell me that today will be another great day in my life.
CKUA’s commitment to festivals, communities, towns and musicians is refreshing. Its support of different art forms assures me that my monthly contribution is well spent. Supporting CKUA is a non-issue for me: there is no such thing as a free lunch. There are no altruistic goals for my donations; I want CKUA to be there when I turn on my radio.