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Project Share radiothon concludes its run, raising $4,000 for holiday assistance

Many years ago, First National Bank’s Jim Kayfes and KDWA’s Dave Baudoin got together on a Saturday morning in the bank’s lobby. Their goal was to raise funds to ensure happy holidays for the area’s needy. Hastings businesswoman/Volunteer Ida Mae Charles did her part to ensure turkey donations for the meals.

Now 44 years later, after it raised thousands of dollars, had hundreds of gifts donated to Hastings Family Service and countless performances by area entertainers, the Project Share radiothon has concluded its run. The final Project Share raised $4,000.

On Saturday, the 44th annual event at the bank ended with the announcement by KDWA’s owner Dan Massman that year’s event was the last.

“This is the last Project Share … as we know it,” he said. “We want to thank everyone for their time, for the money raised, thank everyone who has come through our doors here for performances.

“But the times have changed. And that’s good, too. There are other events which support Hastings Family Service.”

There is also the potential move of all of the bank’s operations to the building under construction on Pleasant Drive (bank officials have yet to announce that decision). With that possible move, there would be less space to hold such a large event, Massman said.

Again, he thanked the bank and he thanked Smead Manufacturing Co. for underwriting the costs of the day. He also thanked the performers and the community.

Performers this year again included the second “run-off” between the Hastings High School girls and boys hockey teams. Together, the teams raised close to $1,600. The girls repeated their winning ways with more than $850 raised. A highlight of the competition was a new versions of “The 12 Days of Christmas,” now referred to as “The 12 Days of Hockey” presented by the boys’ teams.

“The 12 Days of Christmas” was also popular with 12 community representatives, including Mayor Paul Hicks, Hastings High School swim coach Gerry Rupp, Massman, community volunteers Mary Fasbender and Brian Schommer, Black Dirt Theatre’s Andy Langenfeld and Robin Starch and former French teachers Brian and Sue Drummond . Each added their own touch to the popular Christmas tune.

Other performers were choirs from Pinecrest, McAuliffe and Kennedy schools, Hastings High School Jazz Ensemble, the Hastings High School Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Mo’s Neighborhood Kids and Pete and Casey Likes.

The bank’s lobby was filled throughout the morning. Santa Claus visited. Others listened to the activities on the radio station. For 44 years, that too has been part of the tradition in early December.