TOMS RIVER – A popular fundraiser to benefit children with cancer will return later this month. The Radiothon has gained a new sponsor but features a familiar face.
Ocean of Love Executive Director Theresa Segui said her organization is very excited about the return of the radiothon event which this year is being sponsored by a new radio station, 95.9 WRAT.
This marks the 23rd year for the Billboard Radiothon that will benefit the non-profit, charitable 501 (c)(3) organization dedicated to helping Ocean County children with cancer and their families.
“Our purpose is to assist the children through their illness. We provide financial and emotional support so that they can experience the ‘normal’ joys of childhood, knowing their lives are significant and meaningful to each and every one of us,” Segui said.
The four-day long event will benefit the Ocean County non-profit and aims to raise $109,000 for the organization which supports children facing cancer and their families. The event will kick off on September 20.
Previously, the Radiothon benefit was hosted by Townsquare Media and featured radio personality Andy Chase. In a promotional spot for the event, Chase remarked, “I am so excited about this.” The spot announced that Beasley Media Group’s 95.9 WRAT was the new event sponsor and was committed to raise the $109,000 total to aid Ocean County children with cancer and their families.
“The funds raised do so much more than provide financial relief for the families. It gives families a safe place to go for companionship, understanding and support,” Segui said.
WRAT Radio personality Gotts will live on top of the 30-foot billboard situated inside the Lowes/Target parking lot at 1331 Hooper Ave. During this time, the public is invited to stop by to make a donation. To date, the annual billboard radiothon has raised more than $2 million dollars since starting in 1998.
Chase said, “Gotts is a legend on the radio, 95.9 The Rat. He’s the promo guy. He’s the community guy. He’s crazy but the most important thing is that he has a heart of gold.”
As Chase no longer works for Townsquare Media, he and Segui “had a conversation about what would be a good fit for the Radiothon. I said let’s go to the Rat and they were so excited to hear about it. They are very community based. Gotts has to be the guy living on the community billboard.”
“I might be living up there with him,” Chase added.
“Come on up,” Gotts said.
“I don’t know what my role is going to be. I’ve been doing this thing for so long but I’m happy to be part of the radiothon. I know it will be in your (Gotts) hands and the station’s hands. I think you will be amazed at this,” Chase added.
“Being invited to support Ocean of Love wasn’t an ‘if’ answer, it was a ‘when and how.’ I’m part of the unfortunate people who have been directly affected by cancer. Being part of this incredible event is truly a special moment for us,” WRAT Program Director and Operations Manager Carl Craft said.
Each penny raised during the event will go towards providing financial assistance and emotional support for the children and families involved with Ocean of Love.
Gotts said, “I’m honored to be part of this great cause, no one – especially children – should have to fight cancer alone and I’m here to tell everyone: we’re fighting for you! Andy is the pro at this and it is great to have him aboard. We are so excited to jump in on this.”
“This is what it is all about, raising money for the kids. They are the real heroes in this, them and their families and friends. The kids go through so much so for us to get up on a billboard and showing our love and our support is what is important to help them,” Gotts said.
“We are ready to do this. You guys have no idea what you are in for and that’s a good thing,” Chase said. “You will see the community coming together with people donating their hard-earned money.”
Chase noted that even during hard financial times and the current pandemic conditions, “they are still finding ways to donate some money.”
In the promotion, Gotts was presented a teddy bear featuring a tiny T-shirt bearing the Ocean of Love logo. Gotts made the bear official by slapping a WRAT 95.9 bumper sticker to its back.
Donations can also be made online at oceanoflove.org, or by calling 732-270-3500.