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Community radio honors volunteers

Submitted by Heidi Holtan
Program director for Northern Community Radio
Northern Community Radio — KAXE and KBXE — recently held its annual membership meeting. Each year awards are given for Volunteer of the Year, Creativity and Artistry in Radio, Silent Star for off-air volunteers, Online Leadership and Community Impact.
Chris Baker of Grand Rapids was awarded Volunteer of the Year. Baker is most frequently heard Sunday afternoons, hosting On the River from 1-4 p.m., but also is on the air other times. “Chris is exactly what you want in a volunteer — dependable, flexible, friendly with a great sense of music,” said program director Heidi Holtan. “Chris has legions of fans who plan their Sundays around his show.” 
The Board of Directors of Northern Community Radio awarded Tammy Bobrowsky of Bemidji the Bill McKeever Creativity and Artistry in Radio award. She has hosted On the River at KBXE since the studios opened. “Her show stands out,” said Northern Community Radio Board president Julie Crabb. “There’s a sense of going somewhere. When you hear Tammy hosting and producing On the River, you know you’ll go on a musical journey.” Bobrowsky also connects with musicians and listeners through social media.The Silent Star award for 2014 went to Sandy Hanks from Grand Rapids. She has been a loyal volunteer who reads the Grand Rapids Herald Review for the Talking Book — a project in conjunction with the Minnesota State Services for the Blind. Northern Community Radio thanks Hanks for her time and energy to the program.
Kathy Kooda of Grand Rapids won the Online Leadership award for establishing the Itasca Area Social Media Breakfasts in Grand Rapids on the last Tuesday of every month. Sandy Layman of the Itasca Economic Development Corp. said, “Kathy really lead the charge and has kept it going.”This year’s Community Impact Award was presented to Kathy Dodge of Grand Rapids for her contribution to the arts. From her work with the Itasca Symphony Orchestra, Grand Rapids Arts, the Monday Morning Show on Northern Community Radio and especially for her hand in the artist-in-residence program at Central School in Grand Rapids, Dodge is a shining star and trumpeter of rural arts.