Kevin & Liz of iHeartMedia’s 105.9 KGBX win local philanthropy award
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Back in 1999, Kevin Howard and Liz Delany never imagined a new on-air fundraiser for Ozarks Food Harvest would be a success – let alone raise $1.66 million over the next 18 years.
“The first time we did Hungerthon, we had no idea what we were doing. We didn’t even really have a goal, we just wanted to get out there and do it,” said Howard, one part of The Kevin & Liz Show on 105.9 KGBX. Co-host Delany added, “We were just praying that people would respond.”
The duo’s efforts paid off, raising $12,500 that year. And this year, the 18th annual Hungerthon raised a record $140,447 for children in Ozarks Food Harvest’s Weekend Backpack Program.
Howard and Delany, along with the crew at iHeartMedia’s 105.9 KGBX, were honored as the 2016 Outstanding Philanthropic Media Organization at Tuesday’s National Philanthropy Day luncheon hosted by the Ozarks Region Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
The radio team accepted the award on behalf of iHeartMedia, thanking Ozarks Food Harvest for the opportunity to make a difference. Howard shared that he originally went into radio to meet celebrities, but his proudest moments on air have been spent helping feed hungry kids.
Delany said, “It’s really unbelievable how many children go hungry here every night. One in four children are going to be affected by food insecurity and as a parent, it just breaks your heart thinking that there is a child going to bed hungry.”
Since 1999 Howard and Delany have hosted Hungerthon, a four day radio-thon that benefits kids in the Weekend Backpack Program. The program provides six meals and snacks for children to take home over the weekend when school lunches aren’t available, and hunger is most prevalent among kids.
In addition to hosting Hungerthon, Ozarks Food Harvest’s largest annual fundraiser, iHeartMedia supports local charities including Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks through the annual Boobapalooza and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Springfield through the Angel Tree program. The KGBX Women’s Show has supported Ronald McDonald House and the Doula Foundation, as well as many others throughout the years.
“Kevin and Liz are such great advocates for the community and Ozarks Food Harvest. Every year during Hungerthon they are able to get listeners to understand what life might be like as a hungry child. Their passion is so evident when you tune-in,” said Bart Brown, president/CEO of Ozarks Food Harvest. “We’re lucky Ozarks Food Harvest has supporters like Kevin and Liz, and this accolade from AFP is well-deserved.”
# # #
About Ozarks Food Harvest — The Food Bank
Ozarks Food Harvest is the Feeding America food bank for southwest Missouri, serving more than 200 organizations across 28 Ozarks counties. The Food Bank provides 14.6 million meals annually to more than 260,000 unduplicated individuals. Learn more at ozarksfoodharvest.org, facebook.com/ozarksfoodharvest or twitter.com/ozksfoodharvest.