The Walmart Foundation has donated $1,000 to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s WSIE 88.7 FM The Sound to help further the community-supported station’s impact in the Greater St. Louis and Metro East area.
Stephanie Lewis, WSIE account executive, learned of the opportunity while networking with the EdGlen Chamber. She was able to secure an intern, Jonathan Koons, through SIUE’s Department of English Language and Literature. Koons researched and submitted a grant application in hopes of receiving funds for operational costs. The application requesting support from the Glen Carbon Sam’s Club was submitted to the corporate office. Koons earned a bachelor’s in English in May 2019 from SIUE.
“We are thrilled to support your work in our communities and share your desire to provide local impact,” wrote the Walmart Community Grants Team and Michael Robinson, general manager of the Glen Carbon Sam’s Club. “By receiving this grant, you are a part of a long history of Walmart’s commitment to giving back to the communities where we operate. In fact, (the late) Mrs. Helen Walton (wife of Walmart and Sam’s Club founder Sam Walton) used to say: ‘It’s not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived.’”
“This grant is a direct result of a student intern’s hard work and dedication to the success of WSIE,” said WSIE General Manager Jason Church. “I am grateful to the Walmart Foundation, because they are helping us continue our tradition. I am also especially proud of this great radio station, and the important service we have been providing our community for years.”
“To achieve WSIE’s financial goal of self-sustainability, we’re working to increase listener donations, bringing on more underwriters, and beginning the grant writing process,” continued Church. “Our listeners may not know this, but up until July 1, 2018, we were receiving some state support to help offset our costs, but after July 1, 2018, that stipend was discontinued as a result of the Illinois budget crisis.”
About Philanthropy at Walmart – Walmart.org represents the philanthropic efforts of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation. By leaning in where our business has unique strengths, they work to tackle key social issues and collaborate with others to spark long-lasting systemic change. Walmart has stores in 27 countries, employing more than 2 million associates and doing business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people. Walmart.org is helping people live better by supporting programs that work to accelerate upward job mobility for frontline workers, address hunger and make healthier, more sustainably-grown food a reality, and build strong communities where Walmart operates. To learn more, visit walmart.org.
WSIE-FM went on the air on Sept. 4, 1970, as a National Public Radio affiliated station delivering a variety of programming, while serving as an educational platform for SIUE mass communications students. In the 1980’s, WSIE became The Jazz Station, featuring such broadcasters as Leo Chears. WSIE has also produced a long list of highly successful broadcasters including Dewayne Staats, the current broadcast voice of the Tampa Bay Rays. On Aug. 1, 2016, WSIE launched its new brand, 88.7 The Sound providing listeners with a rich blend of jazz, smooth jazz, blues and R&B to create “The Sound.” WSIE is a community supported radio station, which must rely upon its listeners and underwriters to maintain operations.
PHOTO: WSIE received a $1,000 donation from the Walmart Foundation. (L-R): Michael Robinson, general manager of the Glen Carbon Sam’s Club; Jonathan Koons, WSIE intern; and Stephanie Lewis, WSIE account executive.