PORTLAND, Maine — For the fifth consecutive year, local radio will get its yearly work-week-long shake up from noon Monday, Dec. 3, through 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, thanks to the award-winning 94.3 WCYY Markathon. The live on-air event hosted by disc jockey Mark Curdo will benefit the Center for Grieving Children, which serves families and the community in Portland, Sanford and southern Maine.
Markathon is the 2011 and 2012 winner of the Maine Association of Broadcasters Public Service Award.
From the time he turns on the microphone until he signs off at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, Curdo will have been on the air for 102 hours in just about four and a half days.
“I average about three hours of sleep each night—on the floor of the studio,” Curdo said. “It’s tough to sleep with all this great and awful music and people giving so much to the center. I’ve had donations for hundreds of dollars come in after 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. How can you sleep if that might happen again?”
Toward the end of the Markathon, colleagues and fans will drive Curdo to Jimmy the Greek’s restaurant at the Maine Mall in South Portland, for an on-air wrap party from 4 to 6 p.m., which listeners are invited to attend.
This year, as the Center for Grieving Children concludes a year of events highlighting its 25 years of service, Curdo will draw attention to the center’s new service site on Main Street in Sanford, where the center now provides its volunteer-driven peer support model of grief support. Markathon also will feature taped and on-air interviews with children and families the center serves, and with staff, supporters and others.
Over the past four years, WCYY listeners have donated more than $100,000 to Markathon and not just from Maine. Donations have come from all over New England, New York, California and even England and Ireland.
“The week brings so much more than donations,” said Jared Payton, center board member. “Many people find out about our services — some who may need them but didn’t know where to turn. In all areas — calls from families for support, inquiries about volunteering and more — the Center sees a surge in phone calls and email from the day Markathon starts up each year.”