Thank to all farmers marketeers and culinary enthusiasts who rallied around public radio WWNO FM Tuesday, October 21 for the station's fundraiser. Executive director of marketumbrella.org Richard McCarthy joined WWNO's Diane Mack on air for the autumn 2008 membership drive.
Utilizing the marketumbrella.org wooden coins and a penchant for social investment, the organization's executive director Richard McCarthy voiced support for the public radio station WWNO 89.9 FM on Tuesday morning during the NPR Morning Edition broadcast 7 - 9 a.m. by raising more than $14,000 in pledges for the station.
Twice each year, we call out to the farmers market community to phone in during the two-hour stint to show solidarity between public markets and public radio and to give generously to the station. Listeners are also lured by the carrot (as opposed to the stick) of $20 worth of Crescents when $150 donations are placed or $50 worth of Crescents when listeners join the "Dollar-a-day Club" at the $365 level. The market's popular Crescents are the wooden tokens used by credit and debit card users and that are good at all vendors' stalls. During this recent drive, Crescents were bundled with other goodies during what was described to be the Green Power Hour (8-9 a.m.). During this brief hour, listeners called in to pledge $10,000 of the $14,000+ raised during the public market / public radio partnership — a partnership that could be modeled elsewhere markets thrive.
This year's campaign has special value with the recent unveiling of the new "Jamie Shannon coin" that features local food hero and chef of Commander's Palace (until his untimely death in 2001). This new coin also coincides with the announcement of a new social investment tool, the Crescent Fund whereby shoppers who purchase the Crescents are invited to vote on cash infusion projects to benefit vendors, shoppers, or the wider community. Recipients of these small awards commit to pay the Fund back in time, talent or treasure. The Crescent Fund will be fully launched later in 2008 with the first requests for proposals to go out by the end of the year.
Meanwhile, marketumbrella.org will lend all of its time, talent and treasure to urge public radio listeners to match their dollars for the organization's.
Market Umbrella is an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3), based in New Orleans, whose mission is to cultivate the field of public markets for public good. Market Umbrella has operated the Crescent City Farmers Markets (CCFM) since 1995.
The Crescent City Farmers Market operates weekly year-round in four New Orleans neighborhoods. The CCFM hosts nearly 80 local small farmers, fishers and food producers, and more than 100,000 shoppers annually.