I try to stay away from descriptors like heroic because far too many people use that word when it's not really warranted. (Caitlin Jenner heroic? Brave yeah, absolutely...but heroic is a stretch.) This is ONE example of a promotion that achieves heroic status in my mind. But rather than have me tell you the story, I'm going to have PD and Imaging god (with a little "g") Marc Summers from WILN/Panama City – Island106 tell you about it. If you don't get a little choked up at some point, you need to just hang it up and turn in your human creds.
On Saturday, June 21st, 8:37A, Mandy Williamson (from CHUBBS & MANDY in the MORNING) faced her biggest fear to show support and raise money for baby Kyleigh.
But to fully appreciate how big this is, you have to rewind a couple of months.
Mandy, a girl who was an intern for this station just 5 years ago, was doing a live broadcast at the new WALMART liquor store for spring break. Amidst all the young boys and girls looking for a nice buzz and a sunny beach, a local woman named Rachel Marie, pulled Mandy aside and told her the story of their two year old girl, Kyleigh, who against all odds had survived birth with a HLHS, a congenital heart defect, where only one chamber of the heart functions and pumps blood to the rest of the body. Without her first surgery, at 2 days old, she would have passed away within a few days of birth. But Kyleigh had to face two more surgeries, and still needed more. Her father, a Panama City Police Officer had to reduce his hours to spend time shuttling his daughter to Boston, where the only hospital in the country that attempts the complicated procedures that Kyleigh needed. Along with their two other children, time and money were in desperate need, and the family was hoping Mandy would be able to help.
I take pride in the knowledge that ISLAND 106 is known for its community service. We have spent almost three decades helping the citizens of Panama City, and they’ve come to depend on us in times of need. Even knowing that, it still blows my mind how many people think of us when they need help, and as often as we can, we try to deliver.
After the conversation with Rachel Marie, Mandy started working on an idea. Being a mother of 3 herself, she deeply empathized with this family and couldn’t help but feel that going through such a traumatic crisis with your newborn, would have to rank as a mother’s greatest fear. Mandy decided that she would show solidarity for this family’s plight and she would face one of her greatest fears, heights.
A few phone calls, and a quick brainstorming session with Paige Nienaber, from CPR Promotions, we were ready to hit the air with “JUMPING FOR KYLEIGH’S HEART.” We decided that If our listeners could come up with $10,000, Mandy would jump from a plane. You can hear the promos on the Island 106 page here on Dave's website.
For almost 4 weeks, it was non-stop. A request-a-thon, community yard sale, a Friday fundraiser BBQ, and my morning man even dressed in drag for tips!
We finally reached our goal, and Mandy was going to have to pay up on her promise. Mandy was terrified, she would cry uncontrollably, then she would start worrying what would happen to her family if she wasn’t to make it back to earth in one piece. We told her that the odds of something happening was .0003 percent, and she may be a lucky girl, but those are odds makes even the casinos in Vegas jealous. Nevertheless, for the 2 hour car ride to the skydiving facility, Mandy spent in lost in her imagination, turmoil and fear. A few of us thought she might even back out. Of course, she didn’t, and the video has Mandy telling the story better than I ever could.
LOVE the video. LOVE the promotion. LOVE Chubbs, gutsy move bruh. LOVE Mandy, you are SO heroic. LOVE Marc for sharing here.
I am really proud to be affiliated with such a great team. BIG market effort from the Florida panhandle.