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Support local radio! KICI hosts benefit featuring Cedar County Cobras and more


KICI Radio 105.3 FM Benefit and Donor Appreciation Concert

Weather Dance Fountain Stage — Saturday, July 23 at 4 p.m.

KICI 105.3 FM continues to raise funds to bring a new voice to news coverage in Iowa City -- photo courtesy KICI
KICI 105.3 FM continues to raise funds to bring a new voice to news coverage in Iowa City — photo courtesy KICI

Local radio station KICI 105.3 will be hosting a concert on the Weather Dance Fountain Stage in the Iowa City Ped Mall this upcoming Saturday, July 23, from 4–9 p.m. to help raise awareness of their effort to get on the air and provide local news for all Iowa City residents. The radio station, backed by local organizations Uptown Bill’s and the Extend the Dream Foundation, received a license from the FCC to operate a radio station in 2015. According to their GoFundMe account, they have currently raised $4,382 of their $15,000 goal, which will go to pay for the costs of engineering and equipment to get them on air.

“We need additional financial support to get the station on the air. Saturday’s concert is part of that. We also welcome contributions of any amount,” said Tom Gilsenan, executive director of Uptown Bill’s. “Just imagine! A new local radio station. KICI. 105.3 FM. Anything is possible — news, music, public affairs and so much more.” On how the radio station fits in with the Dubuque Street coffee shop that boasts the title “the best little bookstore in Iowa,” Gilsenan states, “Uptown Bill’s is involved because radio fits so well with our mission of providing opportunities for people of all abilities.”

Uptown Bill’s coffee house — which provides opportunities to persons with disabilities in the Iowa City community — is named after the late Bill Sackter, an Iowa City resident and mentally challenged man who, after being abandoned in a mental institution at age seven, was released forty-four years later and became a beloved Iowa City community member. His story has now inspired two films and a number of local community efforts backed by the Extend the Dream Foundation, another supporter of KICI. Founded in Iowa as a non-profit in 1997, the Extend the Dream Foundation organizes many community resources for persons with disabilities including Uptown Bill’s Coffee House & Neighborhood Arts Center, Uptown Bill’s E-Commerce Center, Mick’s Workshop, The Sackter House and Sackter House Media Productions.

Currently the station is operating as a podcast covering local news, with all its posts available via its Facebook page. KICI has seen community support from local businesses such as Studio 13, New Pioneer Co-op and Midwest One Bank, but they are looking for donations of any size, from individual contributions to program underwriters.

Saturday’s free event is the perfect chance to make a freewill donation in person and show support for the station’s goals. Eastern Iowan rockabilly rockers the Cedar County Cobras will be performing, as will veteran Iowa City singer/songwriter and producer Dave Zollo. Wandering Pint and James Tutson are also on the bill.


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