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Jeff Smulyan and Don Steel participate in WIBC's Radiothon Friday, Dec. 11, 2009.

The lobby of Emmis Communications building is filled with tables of Salvation Army volunteers with phones waiting for callers to donate today Friday, Dec. for the 15th annual WIBC Radiothon, a three day event to collect funds for The Salvation Army’s 2009 Christmas campaign. Last year the Radiothon raised $223,000 from the phone banks.

Radiothon runs for 55 hours from Friday, Dec. 11 to Sunday, Dec. 13. The Salvation Army’s Christmas campaign goal is to raise $3 million this Christmas season. Each day has a special emphasis on a service The Salvation Army provides. Friday’s focus is on homelessness, Saturday’s is on children and Sunday’s funds will go towards disaster services.

Currently, $40,120 has been collected since the start of the event at 6 a.m. during WIBC’s Morning News show with Terri Stacy and Big Joe Staysniak until 3 p.m. at the beginning of Steve Simpson’s show.

Reach USA’s Jim Brantley is on The Salvation Army’s Advisory Board for business people who work with The Salvation Army. Brantley closed the office and brought the whole staff to volunteer this year. “This is our first time as a group,” says Brantley.

Volunteer Bruce Wakeley was stationed on a phone during the Radiothon. “It’s very rewarding,” says Wakeley about volunteering, “especially for this organization.” Wakeley took a call today from a generous Brownsburg individual who donated $1,000.

After donating, callers are entered into a drawling to win prize packages donated by local businesses. Gift prizes range from the Pacers Legends Package, including free parking, 4 tickets to the January 13 game and Legends level dining, to the Laugh it up prize package with 8 passes to Comedysportz.

To donate to Radiothon call 1-877-71-PEACE or donate online at wibcradiothon.org.