May 14, 2012
I had the privilege of doing an on-air fundraiser in Atlanta for The Marcus
Center, a children's health care institute that specialized in caring for
autistic children. In order to fully prepare for this event I saw first hand
how this center helps families who have children with developmental
disorders. I toured the facility and interviewed parents; one mom in
particular, Deanna, was so well versed and passionate about her son's
situation that I asked her to be on the air with me the day of this
fundraiser. Her story started with a seemingly healthy son who, at the age
of three, went deaf and was diagnosed with autism; it ended with her
receiving a nursing degree that allows her to help parents like herself.
While I was on the air doing this show David Santrella, President of the
Radio Division for Salem Communications, was brought into the studio for an
introduction. Being the new girl at this Fish outlet, I was excited to meet
the man responsible for the chosen airwaves. He greeted me with a strong
handshake, sincerity and encouragement, saying that the Fish has a specific
mission, and that is to spread the word. My stop set was ending, and as I
went to intro traffic. Mr.Santrella began speaking with Deanna. I returned
to the conversation just as he was saying, "And what would it take to make
that better?" He and Deanna were discussing how to help her son communicate
more effectively. She was telling him about how she was saving to get an
iPad. Mr. Santrella turns to my GM and gently says, "Let's make that happen
for her and sign off enough so she can get all the insurance, anything
that's needed." Deanna stated to cry, my GM broke out in the biggest smile,
and I got teary eyed at the goodness I had just witnessed.
I might be taking a chance in relaying this story as it did not happen as a
form of promotion; quite the opposite actually, it was a private moment. I
needed to share this however, because I feel the ever-changing challenges of
our industry tend to overpower the success stories. This was one of the most
memorable experiences I've ever had in-studio; I'll date myself by saying my
22 year old is editing this piece and I've been in radio prior to her birth.
As Mr. Santrella made his exit I shook his hand saying, "Nice to working for
you," he shook mine back saying, "Nice working with you."
Where's the She Prep in all of this? It's all over the place especially in the form of working moms and let's remember "that behind every great man there is a woman"...and I can only image how amazing Mrs. Santrella must be.
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Right Now She Could be
Taking a disabled child to therapy
Cleaning up spilled milk
Kissing a boo boo
Grading a final exam
She Could be a
Boutique Store owner
Mother's Day is Sunday. Mom loves a good memory, make one with her a frame a
past remembrance with a note that remembers the find memories.
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When did she realize she was more like her own mother than she thought?
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