The KUAC radio/television studio and offices are usually bustling with activity during the station’s annual Fall Fundraiser. The coronavirus pandemic changed all that and volunteers diverted to a new, creative fundraising effort.

The annual fundraiser takes place Monday through Oct. 31. Virtually.

Funds raised are crucial to KUAC TV & FM, to continue KUAC’s tradition of educating, informing and entertaining with quality public programming, according to Nancy Tarnai, KUAC’s marketing manager.

Instead of coming to the studio in person, supporters pre-recorded messages that will air on KUAC-FM. For three weekends during the month of September, vehicles streamed into the Taku parking lot so drivers and passengers could record their public messages.

“We had about 45 cars drive up and some had one person and some had two people,” Tarnai said. “One had the whole family.”

Many of those supporters were seasoned volunteers, but anyone was welcome to make a recording. Another 25 people made their own recordings on smart devices and emailed or called them in to the KUAC Hotline.

“So we’ll have a nice mix of community voices,” Tarnai said.

Donors should be aware that some local individuals, organizations and businesses have offered matching funds that will double gifts from donors, according to a press release from KUAC.

“We will miss the steady stream of visitors to our studio and we hope everyone understands the need for a different method at this time,” Tarnai added. “We promise if and when we get back to normal, that we’ll share pizza, coffee and Thai food with our wonderful volunteers again.”

In past years volunteers also manned the phones. Donors can still call KUAC, but volunteers won’t be answering telephones as in previous years. A special company “call bank” that helps broadcasting stations with these kinds of events has been recruited to assist.

“Since March, the only people allowed in our studios have been staff such as radio hosts and TV master control and the general manager,” Tarnai said.

Everyone else works from home, following safety protocols for COVID-19.

Some things have not changed. Special gifts are available, as always, for donors who contribute at a certain level.

Donors at the $60 level can get the 2020 KUAC poster by local artist Todd Sherman or a vintage mug; $75, a set of Northern Lights Masks; $200, a set of Northern Lights Neck Gaiters. At $365, the gift is a Mason jar radio, set only to KUAC FM. Personal Day sponsors can contribute $365 for FM or $500 for FM and TV. Make your pledge between Friday and Oct. 31 and choose your gift. Thanks!

Donate by calling 907-474-5822 (starting Monday) or go to and donate online.

UA Giving Day

The first-ever University of Alaska Giving Day takes place starting noon Tuesday and concluding at 1 p.m. on Oct. 22.

In its own unique Alaskan way, the university is celebrating 49 hours for the 49th state, by inviting alumni and advocates to support a program or area they care about.

Supporters can visit during the event to make a gift. Then share the news with friends and family through special online links and hashtag #UAGivingDay2020.

There are many programs and fund to support and participants can also meet challenges from businesses and individuals to unlock even larger donations.

Reach columnist/community editor Kris Capps at Follow her on Twitter @FDNMKris.


Community editor and columnist Kris Capps is a longtime resident of Fairbanks and Denali Park. Contact her at, in the office at 459-7546 or by cell at 322-6334. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMKris.