Thank You KUAC Volunteers!

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Thank You KUAC Volunteers!KUAC welcomed an enthusiastic crowd, great music and Hot Licks ice cream at our annual Volunteer Appreciation Event on Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014. KUAC is incredibly grateful to all of our volunteers. It is our volunteers who keep public broadcasting sustainable in Interior Alaska, with over 4,000 priceless hours of time contributed, which saved KUAC more than $88,500 this past year.

Our volunteers enjoyed hearing about the highlights of the past year, mingling with KUAC staff, and taking home some fun thank-you gifts and door prizes. The highlight of the evening was a very moving presentation of the Spirit of KUAC award and acceptance speech.

Congratulations to the late Pat Cole, the 2014 Spirit of KUAC award winner.

Pat’s wife Judy, accepted the award from KUAC FM Music Director, Host, and FM Volunteer Coordinator Lori Neufeld.

Much was said about Pat and his incredible history as a KUAC volunteer.

Pat’s brother Dermot had this to say: For most of the nearly 45 years he lived in Fairbanks, Cole was a volunteer at KUAC. His introduction to broadcasting occurred when he was a student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He renewed his connections after earning his law degree in Idaho and starting his career in Fairbanks as a local government administrator. Cole was a key volunteer for programs such as “Any Old Time” and kept detailed records of his playlists. He enjoyed the work with KUAC and considered the station a vital community function. He was part of the relatively small cadre of volunteer board operators and hosts who helped entertain and inform people across a wide portion of Alaska.

Others have said:  I remember some pretty darn creative Saturday night Oldies sets he did for a while, including a good dose of British Invasion stuff like Kinks, Zombies and Manfred Mann.  A strong voice for KUAC in several ways.  And I think Pat Cole is a fantastic recipient for the Spirit of KUAC award!  Not only was he a great Fairbanksan and a dutiful public servant, but also a giving individual who volunteered his time to make our community a better place. While I did not know him personally, the people who did have made me understand that his passing was our collective loss. It’s too bad he couldn’t have received this before he left, but I’m glad he’s receiving it now.

Lori added: He was welcoming, always happy to help, and a darn good radio host so good-natured both on-air and in person. Through time, I got to know Pat better and realized he was no ordinary public radio volunteer. Up to the last show he was involved with, which was just last October during KUAC’s fall fundraiser, he asked “How Can We Make It Better?” In my mind, this is what Fairbanks as a community needs more of—people taking Pat Cole’s lead and saying to each other “how can we make this even better?” I’ll miss hearing him say that but I’ll be sure to ask myself that question often in the spirit of Pat’s community mindedness. Being a volunteer at KUAC was really important to Pat. The community greatly benefited from his decades of service as an on-air volunteer. I’m glad I got to know him in this capacity. I’m so sorry we’ve lost such a wonderful, positive contributing member to this community. We can all have Pat Cole’s spirit live on when we ask “What can we do to make this even better?”

The Spirit of KUAC Award is presented annually at this event to a volunteer in recognition of exceptional service to KUAC. Open nominations were accepted for 30 days and then forwarded to a selection committee of community members.

Previous Spirit of KUAC recipients:

  • 2004 – Leone Hatch
  • 2005 – Reverend Murray Richmond
  • 2006 – John “Alaska Jahn” Lysen
  • 2007 – Tim “T-Man” Sprout
  • 2008 – Lisa Sporleder
  • 2009 – Dave “Dr. Dave” Lacey (posthumously)
  • 2010 – Susie Hackett
  • 2011 – Ray Funk
  • 2012 – Tim Carrier
  • 2013 – Andrew Quainton (posthumously)

Thank you to the 2014 Spirit of KUAC selection committee:

  • Bart Maize
  • Pamm Zierfuss-Hubbard
  • Elizabeth Cook

Volunteers help KUAC meet our mission of creating radio and television programming that is thought-provoking, trustworthy and even life-changing. Volunteers keep public broadcasting sustainable and healthy, especially in economically challenging times. We thank you all!

Thank you to Deb Lawton and Aaron Elterman for providing photography, Hot Licks Homemade Ice Cream for donating ice cream, and to the Swing Dogs for donating their time and talent to entertain us!

PHOTO ALBUM of the 2014 Volunteer Appreciation Event