Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

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February 5th, 2010

Sullivan County comes out to help Haiti

Despite the fact our economy is in shambles and people are finding it difficult to make ends meet, when tragedy strikes, Sullivan County is always there to help those in need. This was so evident during the recent Haiti Relief Radiothon. The warmth and goodness of Sullivan County residents never ceases to amaze me.

The brainstorm of public officials Tony Cellini and George Cooke with the joint efforts of Thunder Radio and Crystal Run Healthcare the drive raised an astounding $50,000 plus.

The contributions will go to the Salvation Army, American Red Cross, Doctors without Borders and UNICEF. These noteworthy organizations have been in the forefront in assisting the people of Haiti throughout this horrific earthquake.

Cellini tells me the drive was quickly thrown together, “Linda and I were having dinner and in the background was the news. I remarked we had to do something, then the phone rang and it was George Cooke telling me we were going to meet first thing in the morning and talk about doing something for Haiti.”

When Cellini and Cooke met the next morning, they discussed several options. They decided to call Paul Ciliberto of Thunder 102 and inquired if the station would do a radiothon, he immediately agreed and his on air guest Dr. Michell Koury offered the services of Crystal Run Healthcare.

Cellini commenting on the radiothon said, “Paul Ciliberto and the team from Thunder 102 radio were unbelievable. Dr. Michelle Koury as usual went above and beyond. All the volunteers, donors and prayers for those unfortunate people of Haiti will always be instilled in my mind.”

Crystal Run Healthcare employees participated in a practice-wide dress-down day, bake sale and raffle and along with physicians raised in excess of $17,000 for the event.

Dr. Koury told me, “I am very impressed, especially during such tough economic times, with the generosity of all who gave of their time and money to help the citizens of Haiti rebound from such a cataclysmic natural disaster. Hearing Haitian-Americans speak of losing loved ones in the earthquake was very powerful and moving and underscores the fragility of life. I and my partners are proud of our staff as well as to be part of such a generous and thoughtful community.”

Thunder Radio since exploding onto the Sullivan County market several years ago has been praised for being community orientated and going that extra step in using its airwaves for charitable causes.

Thunder’s Paul Ciliberto, Mike Sakell, Michelle Semmerano and Regina Hensley are always visible throughout Sullivan County promoting events for charitable organizations.

Ciliberto told me, “We believe the main focus of a local radio station should be the community. We are proud that over the years many community organizations have come to rely on us as the source for promoting their events and activities.  I am always amazed by the response of our ThunderHeads to support the community.”

Ciliberto said Cellini’s idea was a natural fit for the radio station. He went on to note several other important events the radio station sponsors including, Feeding Thunder Country, an ongoing promotion donating non-perishable food given to local food pantries; Thunder Blood Bowl, the largest blood drive in the county for the American Red Cross; ThunderSplash, a fundraising event for local fire departments, ThunderBowl, a fundraising event to benefit the Boys and Girls Club; and ThunderBlast, an annual fundraising event for Toys For Tots.
It should be noted that radio stations WSUL and WVOS also participates in many charitable events, their much praised annual heart-a-thon to benefit CRMC will be held Saturday February 27th.

State Senator John Bonacic lauding Sullivan County’s drive to help those in need touched everyone during the radiothon when he said prayers from those who could not afford to contribute monetarily was just as important, “because it’s all about caring.”
Thank you to Tony Cellini, George Cooke, Thunder Radio, and Crystal Run Healthcare for organizing the radiothon and affording Sullivan County residents the opportunity to do their part in helping the people of Haiti.

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