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Saturday, August 13, 2022

Community Launches Capital Campaign To Save Black Radio Station

Rev. Kittie Ward, left, and Rev. Ruth Saunders are spearheading a community effort to save Washington state's only African American owned and operated radio stations. Photo/Chris B. Bennett
Rev. Kittie Ward, left, and Rev. Ruth Saunders are spearheading a community effort to save Washington state’s only African American owned and operated radio stations. Photo/Chris B. Bennett

    Rev. Ruth Saunders and Rev. Kittie Ward are spearheading a capital campaign to raise money in order to save the only African American owned and operated radio stations in Washington state.

      According to Chris H. Bennett, chairman of Kris Bennett Broadcasting, the Z-Twins radio stations (1420 AM KRIZ, 1560 AM KZIZ, and 1620 AM KYIZ) could close its doors if the company cannot raise enough money by Dec. 31, 2013 to satisfy a balloon payment on a bank loan that has been called by the lender.

      “These radio stations are our voice,” says Rev. Saunders. “They have been our voice for nearly 30 years.”

      “For 30 years these stations have been there to support the needs of our community… raising money for Hurricane Katrina, helping to feed the hungry, saving Branch Villa, raising money for families that could not afford to bury their loved ones,” added Saunders. “Now the stations need the help of our community, and we cannot lose these stations; we cannot lose our voice.”

      Saunders and Ward, along with the help of many others in the community, have launched a campaign to save the stations that they are calling “A million dollars for a million reasons to save our voice.” The objective of the campaign is to raise enough revenue to payoff the current financial obligations and to establish the framework for the continuous financial freedom of the radio stations.

Organizers of the campaign are asking the community for contributions to help save the stations. According to Saunders, none of the money raised is going towards the day-to-day operations of the station; the funds will be applied to the current financial obligations of the stations.

“We are seeking the help of the community to help raise these funds,” said Saunders. “As individuals, we probably could not come up with the money to save the stations, but collectively we can do it. That is why we are asking the community to make donations of any size to help save the stations.”

      Donations can be made in a number of ways, including: sending checks or money orders to the save our voice campaign, c/o Kris Bennett Broadcasting, 2600 S. Jackson Street, Seattle, WA 98144; donations can also be made at any Banner Bank branch through an account that has been set-up (Kris Bennett Broadcasting Capital Campaign).  In addition, a website has been set-up at www.savekriz.com for online donations and to update the community about the progress of the campaign.

      You can contact the campaign via email at savekriz@ztwins.com or be calling (206) 323-3070.

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