By: Max Lorber, Arts and Culture Editor
On Saturday, November 2nd, Sullivan Gym on USM’s Portland campus will be transformed into a vast second-hand record shop for WMPG’s 24th annual Record Sale fundraiser. WMPG listeners and community members have donated hundreds of vinyl records, which will then be sold by volunteers to help support the public radio station.
Up to 500 people are expected to attend the event. 15 independent used record vendors from New England will also take part. Jim Rand, station manager of WMPG and coordinator of the Record Sale, said the vendors add to the festive, communal atmosphere of the event. The combination of vendor’s collections and the donations accrued by WMPG makes this gathering one of the largest record sales in New England, with 65 tables covered in crates of vinyl. The vendors pay a $35 fee to rent a table and sell their own records.
“It’s hard work, but it’s fun,” Rand said when discussing the Record Sale fundraiser.
There is a two dollar cover charge to enter the venue. The vendor tables will be sectioned in one area of the gym, the rest of the gym will be used by WMPG volunteers to sell donated records. Donated CD’s, magazines, books and audio equipment will also be sold at the event.
WMPG relies on roughly 250 USM students and community volunteers. Rand says more than 30 volunteers will participate in the Record Sale, helping set up tables, carry boxes of records and audio equipment into the gym, and collecting cash from sales made throughout the day.
According to financial statements published by WMPG over the past eight years, money from fundraising accounts for a little over a third of the radio station’s annual program expenses on average, with the biannual Begathon donation drive making up the bulk of the contributions. Money also comes in from grants, advertisements and student activity funds distributed by USM’s Student Senate.
“A lot of what allows us to operate…as dependable as we do, is the in-kind help we get from USM,” said Dale Robin Goodman, Development Director at WMPG.
Aside from monetary assistance, USM helps WMPG by providing studio space, studio maintenance like trash removal and repairs and roof space for their transmitters, which are all considered in-kind donations. Sullivan Gym is also rented to WMPG by USM for a nominal fee.
Rand hopes the Record Sale brings in around $10,000 for WMPG, which is only a fraction of the donations they expect to receive throughout the year. But with public radio, each donation adds up, and the community that has formed around WMPG over the past four decades continues to help keep the radio station afloat.