Friday night, WVLP Radio Station celebrated their 12th annual Hog Roast Fundraiser at Butterfield Park’s Family Pavilion in Valparaiso. The park was brought alive with laughter, music from local bands, and the smell of delicious pulled pork that could make anyone’s stomach growl.
WVLP is a local low power radio station that is a non-profit non-commercial radio station out of Valparaiso. Over the past few years, low power radio stations have received a lot of resistance. Due to lobbyists for commercial radio, many restrictions have been placed on how low power radio stations can make revenue, and one of the most popular ways is by fundraising.
Gregg Kovach the Executive Director of WVLP, and Dave Hemdal took over the event in 2010 and this year the pair brought on Kevin Pederson and Mike Willard. Between these four outstanding men, the event was full of delicious smells and great local music, all of which brought the community together to support a beloved station.
“The reason we do this is because we depend on donations, fundraisers, and underwriting,” said Kovach. “Those three things sustain us, and fundraising is about a third of our annual revenue. We only have two fundraisers, this and the event ‘Stars Over Valpo.’ We work on two days to raise 33% of our yearly revenue, but the important thing is that it’s good food, good music, and good conversation in the community.”
Guests mingled and listened to live music, but, just like every year, the food was the star of the show. The event welcomed there veteran caterers, Hemdal, Peterson, and Willard, to share their delicious food with everyone in attendance. Everything from chicken, pasta, enough sides to feed an army, and, the main attraction, pork. It was a perfect night for a delicious meal and a chance to get everyone together in one of Valparaiso’s many beautiful gathering places.
Kovach said, “The best thing about this event is the venue is really nice, and there is a community aspect to it. A lot of the people I don’t get to see very often are here. All the people at WVLP don’t often see each other so this is a chance where a good percentage of us can be together.”
If the food and people were not enough to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. the music sold it home. There were many great local musicians at the event that night.
“It was recent that we decided to get musical guests,” Kovach said. “It’s the type of music that is not going to get in the way, it’s not going to jar you. Every one we bring in is a local musician. The four we have tonight is Rob Rolfe Feddersen, Mickey Camp, David Doc Fuller, and Dot Pakan.”
Robert Rolfe Feddersen, who hosts his own show on WVLP, was the opening act and was thrilled to be there. He has been a musician for much of his life and has created an impressive resume; he and his band have shared the stage with other musicians such as Metalica, Kid Rock, and Megadeath.
“This radio station is amazing!” Feddersen said. “WVLP supports the local music, the support the community, they support the arts, and that is near and dear to me. I feel a kindred spirit with the people who run this station.”
Not only did the community come together for a night out and to support the station, but also the men in charge came together and became the close-knit group that everyone saw Friday night.
“This is the first time in two or three years that I can safely say that I think we have come together as colleagues,” Kovach said. “I always wanted it to be a collegial thing, they all come from different walks of life and everyone does a unique show.”
Joyce Newsome-Robbins, who is a huge fan, a long-time listener of the station, and friend to one of the hosts, came out to show her support for WVLP.
“I always listen!” Newsome-Robbins, who was happy to be there to support her friend, explained. “It’s funny and informative!”
The night fell into laughter and good times, a perfect way to bring a community together for a great cause and fun night out on the town. Listen to WVLP on Channel 103.1, and for more information, visit www.wvlp.org.