VOA Museum to host fundraising dinner and dance

The National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting will host its third annual dinner and dance fundraiser, “Rock the Radio” on Saturday, Sept. 22, from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Cincinnati radio legend and former WLW radio host Jim Scott will serve as the emcee.

“At the National VOA Museum of Broadcasting, part of our mission is not only to educate people about the former VOA-Bethany station’s contribution to helping keep the world safe for democracy during World War II and the Cold War by presenting accurate news to countries that lacked a free press, we also want to support journalists in their mission today to tell the truth in order to let the people decide what’s true. This fundraiser supports not only our VOA, Gray History of Wireless Radios and Media Heritage partners and stakeholders, it provides monetary support so we can continue to renovate the VOA-Bethany Station building and build new exhibits and displays,” said VOA Board Member Melinda Zemper.

For 50 years, the VOA-Bethany Station transmitted Voice of America broadcasts to countries worldwide that lacked a free press, first in Europe during World War II and then to South America during the Cold War. It was decommissioned by the federal government in 1994. The iconic art deco building has been developed into the National VOA Museum of Broadcasting with support from the entire community, mostly with volunteer labor.

The fundraiser will feature a cocktail reception, a dinner, music by BlueStone Ivory and dancing outdoors, plus VIP tours of the museum and a preview of a new museum exhibit, USCGC Courier. The exhibition is comprised of 13 story-board panels and a video presentation that tell the story of the VOA’s floating radio station in Rhodes, Greece, and the people who connected there.

“This is an inspiring story about how people united by one positive goal can improve lives in an entire community. The USCGC Courier was a floating Voice of America radio station based in Rhodes, Greece from 1952-1964. It broadcast VOA news into Russian territory to defeat Soviet jamming near VOA listener areas as part of President Harry Truman’s Operation Vagabond. The exhibit tells not only the VOA story, but the story of the friendships and marriages formed by Rhodians, USCGC Courier and VOA personnel — relationships that continue today,” said Zemper.

Dinner and reception tickets for the fundraiser are $150 each, (or $300 for a couple,) and include two complimentary drink tickets. The deadline to order tickets is Monday, Sept. 17. Proceeds from the event will go toward making the entire first floor of the museum accessible for visitors of all abilities. Last year, the event raised about $40,000. Organizers said they hope to meet and exceed that amount this year. For more information about tickets, or sponsorships, email admin@voamuseum.org, or call (513) 777-0027. Also, visit www.voamuseum.org.

The VOA Museum is open to the public for tours on Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and $1 for children ages 12 and under. Group tours are also available. The museum is located at 8070 Tylersville Road. The museum recently added three new docents, but docent volunteers are still needed.

The VOA Museum includes items, collections and exhibits from the VOA-Bethany Station; Media Heritage’s Greater Cincinnati Museum of Broadcast History; the Gray History of Wireless Museum; and the West Chester Amateur Radio Association control room, to name a few.

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