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KVMR Honors Station's Volunteers at Holiday Shindig

KVMR Throws 'Lovefest' for Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Last week's KVMR 89.5 FM Volunteer Appreciation and Awards Party turned into a virtual lovefest for volunteer broadcaster Richard Dunk, winner of the station's Lifetime Achievement Award that night. 

Dunk, who has cancer, recently stepped down from his popular Saturday night shows, a bi-weekly host since 1996 of "Dead Air," featuring the music and culture of the Grateful Dead, and the blues-jazz series "Night Roots" the past 18 years because of health issues. 

A two-time member of both the station's Program Committee and Board of Directors, including a stint as Board President, Dunk held his hands in the air in thanks to the reaction from the overflow crowd in the Miner's Foundry and asked his wife, Debbie Tull, to address the KVMR volunteers and guests. 

"It'll be 22 years ago this coming February when we met," she said, "But, you know, he always referred to KVMR as his best mistress."

"We even planned our wedding around KVMR, as well as our holidays and vacations, and I think she was, indeed, a great mistress," quipped Tull to the crowd of over 250 broadcasters, volunteers and guests. "(Richard) loves it (KVMR) with every inch of his soul."

Fellow broadcaster Mikail Graham simply said of Dunk's work, "It's radio that's coming from the heart."

Dunk and broadcast partner Joel Brungardt were also honored for Outstanding Music Special for an eight-hour Veterans Day extravaganza featuring both pro- and anti- Vietnam War music from the early '60s all the way into the 21st century.

"No matter what side of the issue you were on, we seemed to have rubbed people the wrong way," Brungardt said, "which I took as a sign we were doing something right."

The annual awards are presented by the station's Program Committee, based on nominations and votes by station broadcasters and volunteers. 

With Dunk winning the Bill Tuttle Lifetime Honors, three broadcasters won John Nichols Awards for Excellence in Music Programming. 

Laurie DesJardin, host of Friday morning's "The New Brick Road," won for a second year in a row, while a pair of quarter century KVMR veterans, Hawaiian music host Michael Keene (Kani Ka Pila, 10 a.m. Sundays) and Saturday afternoon roots host Thomas Greener (Ragged But Right, noon biweekly) nabbed their first Nichols Awards

Radio Event of the Year was the station's regional fire coverage, particularly in October. 

Three broadcasters won special honors for their work as "first on-air responders" to the fast-moving autumn blazes: midnight host Mark Leviton, early morning's Adela Wilcox and Joyce Miller, who went from fire evacuee to volunteer journalist in the early hours of the fires,

Meanwhile  Pascale Fusshoeller of YubaNet.com got the special "Smokey The Bear Award for Radio & Social Media Firefighting and Fire Knowledge."

And Jennifer Robin was honored with the Jody Fenimore Award for Excellence in Public Affairs programming for her "relentless coverage of indigenous  peoples, issues and music" on "Resilience Radio" (Thurs 10 a.m.)

KVMR Music Director Sean Dooley-Miller was honored for his role in organizing and creating KVMR's millenial music stream with the KVMRx Dude Of The Year Award. 

Other award winners included: 

--Martin Webb, "The Energy Show" (Thurs noon), the Osborne-Woods Community Service Award.

--Ed Gardner, "Overnight Harmonic Express" (Wed 12 a.m.), Ralph Henson Night Owl Award.

--John Adams, "Early Morning Ramble" (Fri 4 a.m.), Early Bird Award.

--Mike Bissell, "Wednesday Morning Show" (7 a.m.), Morning Programming Award

--Felton Pruitt, "Fat Music Show" (Mon 1 p.m.), Afternoon Programming.

--Todd Wahoske, "Todd's Two Toos" (Fri 8:30 a.m.), Out Of The Box Award

--Warren Dusenbury, special "Honorary Broadcaster Of The Year Award" for soul, blues and jazz fundraising specials. 

--Harriet Diamond and Paul Sanders, "He Said, She Said" (Fri noon), Rookies Of The Year.

--Paul Barbieri, "Thursday Morning Show" (7 a.m.), special Gregg Allman Memorial Award.

--Iris Bilodeau, "Kani Ka Pila" (Sun 10 a.m.), Substitute Of The Years Award.

--Suzanne Calkins and LeRoy Tully ("The SaeHey Kid"), KVMRx Gold Record Awards.

"Volunteer Of The Year" & Other Volunteer Appreciation Awards

A KVMR 89.5 FM Board of Directors member specializing in event production and a "super-willing"  volunteer who helps on "just about every event" got major salutes this week at the Nevada City's radio station annual Volunteer Appreciation and Awards Celebration. 

An estimated 250 people were on hand in a packed Miner's Foundry event Tuesday night as the station honored its leading volunteers, chosen by various staff members.  Next week The Prospector's "On The Air" will feature KVMR's Programming Awards, chosen by the station's Program Committee based on voting by broadcasters and volunteers. 

Adela Wilcox won "Volunteer Of The Year" honors for her work on the station's 39th birthday party, KVMR's "Summer Of Love" Celebration,  its "Animal House" art contest, among others. 

"Just considering the events she's produced for us," KVMR Co-Volunteer Coordinator Edy Cassell said, "you can easily say she's a really, really active member of our Board."

Oh, and her 16-year-old son Liam Wilcox won "Unsung Hero Award" for his behind-the-scenes contributions, always with a smile on his face and a big hello to you. Seems he spends a lot of time at the radio station as well, where you never hear him complaining, "Mom...can we go now?" 

And KVMR Wrecking Crew member Christian Gutt -- the crew is a year-round volunteer group that keeps the station looking clean and comfortable --  was named as this year's entrant into the KVMR Volunteer Hall Of Fame. 

Only Gutt does far more.

"He's super-willing all the time," Cassell explained. "He's always lending us his experience in so many ways."

"He'll volunteer for just about every event, whether it's outreach, stage managing, whatever, and he's even taken over being the Green Team captain for recycling and sustainability at our Celtic Festival," according to Cassell.

Also honored were Betty Louise and Susan Davis, winners of the Storycatching Grant Goddess Award for their work on "A Place To Call Home," presented in November at the Center For The Arts. 

"They brought together a broad array of people in the community and raised awareness about our homeless population, changing peoples' thinking to get them to know (the homeless) as people," said KVMR General Manager Julie Chiarelli. 

On the way, they garnered grants from both the California Arts Council and Cal Humanities to help the project along.

Yup, quite the shindig.

"We love doing this party because we get our entire volunteer community together and get to tell them that, well, you're awesome," beamed Cassell. 

Other volunteer awards, largely for off-air work, went to:

--The Empty Garage Award to Andy and Shannon Dooley-Miller, for housing and helping to re-home homeless recordings. 

--The Super Real Guy Award to David Whitehead for his maintenance prowess and other volunteer efforts.

--The Blue Velvet Award to Ralph Henson and Leslie Dilloway for curtains in the KVMR Community Room.

--News Department Awards for commentary to hydrologist Steve Baker, Marc Cuniberti and George Rebane.

--The Decryption Award to Juanita Bratton and Therese Tesene for detail attention on quarterly FCC public affairs reports.

--Cyber Virtuoso Award to Robert Price for keeping the Flea Market online and up to date.

--Deluxe Double Checker Award to Brandt Dietz for his amazing reconciliation skills.

--Engineering Dept. Awards to Sacramento Dave for his role in station live remotes and to newcomer Claudio Mendonca. 

--The Lofty Nerd Awards to John Adams and Dennis Brunnenmeyer for their digital prowess.

--The Farce To Be Reckoned With Award to Sean Huntley for the best worst jokes in the Membership Department. 

2017 KVMR Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Richard Dunk (right) alongside his wife Debbie Tull.