Church ServicesBeginning early in the station's history, WAVM made Church Services a focal point of their radio programming. Throughout the school year, students would visit a different church each Sunday to broadcast a Mass for those community members (the elderly, the sick, etc.) who couldn't attend the service.
On a second level, Mags (Joe Magno) was teaching his students a valuable lesson about the community. Take care of your own. That's the right thing to do. And as will be seen later in this story, WAVM made a strong effort to do so in such projects as The Beacon Santa Telethon and YMCA's Youth and Goverment.
Of course, to this day, the radio station is partially funded by the community, through such avenues as the sale of raffle tickets or on-air sponsorships. So WAVM needed the community in order to survive. Also, there's a high turnover rate of the station's personnel, simply because the students graduate. So a new staff has to recruited from the young students coming up through the middle school. By covering town events, WAVM's name is continually introduced to the community raising awareness. This awareness raises interest in the station. People know and understand the hardwork that WAVM is doing and support the station financially and by encouraging their children to take part.
On a third level, the students needed to have a realistic experience of providing programming to a specific area, and for this programming to really succeed, WAVM needed an audience to be listening. Otherwise, no media operation can truly be considered successful if no one is listening.
For Church Services, the students rise early on Sunday mornings to gather the necessary equipment. Various microphones, audio and power cords, and a short-range transmitter, called a Marti, are needed. Using a portable antenna, the Marti sends the broadcast signal of the service back to the high school studio. WAVM actually didn't have a Marti in the early days. So the on-location crew would transmit the service via telephone back to the studio.
As of September 1997, WAVM will have begun broadcasting church services for another school year, and they intend to do the same in future years as long as someone's listening.
The Story of WAVM continues with The Beacon Santa