| Jun 05, 2008

Feature Article - June 5, 2008

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Feature Article - June 5, 2008 AFAR gets a little closer: radio station ready for fundraising driveBy Jeff Green

Gillian Chapman, PELA CFDC, hands Larry Pealow (l) and Bob Taylor (r) application forms to fund AFAR radio.

Less than a year ago, the Addington Frontenac Area Radio station (AFAR) was an idea. While that idea has not yet become a reality, AFAR has progressed to the point where it has a location, the prospect of a building, a board of directors, charitable status, and a vision of how to move forward.

The next thing to do is to find $25,000.

Robert Taylor of Northbrook, who has come on as chair of the AFAR steering committee, is enthusiastic about the station’s prospects.

“We recently travelled down to Amherst Island where they have a station up and running, and they were impressed by how far we have come in terms of getting ready. We were saved a lot of trouble when Addington Highlands Council allowed us to be a subcommittee of the Economic Development Committee (AHEAD). That meant we did not have to spend time becoming incorporated,” Taylor said. “We also received a world of information in Amherst Island.”

The township has also donated a small piece of land behind the firehall, next to the skateboard park in Northbrook for the station.

Gilles Pacquette, who has a business located near Northbrook, will be providing, at his own cost, an old railway car that he owns as a studio and office.

The proposed station will be able to send a signal that travels in a 16-mile radius, covering most of Addington Highlands, much of North Frontenac, and Kennebec District in Central Frontenac. It will give approximately 4.000 households daily access to music and information programming that is geared to their own needs.

“Often when people die we don’t know about it until after the funeral has passed,” said Bob Taylor in outlining one of the benefits a radio station would bring through daily communication of matters of public concern.

The coming together of physical requirements for the station, such as a location and building, follows a winter-long effort to attract people with specific skills for the board.

Hali Foster had helped the board develop its business plan, and other board members have contributed general and specific skills. Along with Foster and Board Chair Bob Taylor, the board includes Vice Chair Andy Anderson, Secretary Carol Pealow, Treasurer Glenn Mcfadden, Frank Matacheskie, Alex Chisholm, Howard Gibbs and Stella Postma.

The first major piece in the funding puzzle may have been put in place last week, when AFAR submitted a grant application to the Prince Edward Lennox and Addington Community Future Development Corporation (PELA CFDC).

The application to the CFDC business planning fund was submitted to Gillian Chapman, the business manager for PELA CFDC, on the occasion of the first of her monthly visits to a new satellite office of PELA CFDC in Northbrook. The CFDC office is located at the real estate office of Chris Winney.

Applications for other grants, including a Trillium grant, are pending. A membership drive will be undertaken this summer.

As well, thanks to the efforts of Andy Anderson, a fundraising golf tournament at Maple Estates Golf Club (corner of Hwys. 506 and 41) is planned for August 16.

At this point the AFAR Board is planning to make application to the CRTC next winter for a broadcast license and hopes be on the air within 12 months.

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