With a hardy GOOD MORNING PLATTSBURGH!, WOKO’s Wild Bill Sargent kicked off the Drive for the DAV from the top of Plattsburgh’s Macdonough Monument.
The Morning Roundup radio host climbed the corrugated steel steps well before daybreak to prepare for the show. This is the third time Sargent and the WOKO team have raised money for a van for the disabled veterans of Clinton and Essex County.
The federal government mandates when these vans are to be taken out of service, but does not give funding to replace them. That’s where WOKO stepped in.
“Bill has always been committed to the cause of veterans,” said WOKO Station Manager Steve Pelkey from the base of the monument. “This area has been hit hard by deployments. This is a way for us to give back.”
They chose Sept 11 to do their fund-raiser because it’s the anniversary of both the terrorist attacks of 2001, and the 1814 victory of Commodore Thomas Macdonough at the Battle of Plattsburgh, where he turned back the invading British army on Lake Champlain.
“We live in a tough area. It’s very rural, and these veterans often live far away from the care that they need and deserve,” Pelkey said.
Assisting Sargent with the broadcast was his Morning Roundup co-host Rod Hill, Pelkey and overnight DJ Captain Guy Ford.
Sargent communicated with Rod Hill, and later DJ C.K. Coin, who were at the WOKO studio in Burlington, by means of an open stream from his i-pod in order to overcome a ten second delay on the Plattsburgh end of the broadcast.
The first year Sargent climbed the monument the temperature was minus three degrees. This year, record high temperatures into the nineties have been forecast. By 6:30 a.m. Sargent had already sweat through his shirt. But for Sargent, it’s all worth it.