by Bob Steingas, KGEL Radio board member
This is the story of the beginnings of the KGEL Radio project and how the first funds were raised to kick start the project.
In the spring of 2013 the FCC announced that they would be opening bids for new Low Power FM (LPFM) radio stations. Bob Steingas, a local radio enthusiast, took an interest.
Bob wanted this new radio station to be a Christian station and to be affiliated with his denomination, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, so his first step in that direction was to talk to his pastor at the local Santa Clara Seventh-day Adventist Church. Pastor Roger was enthusiastic from the start and recommended that he attend a Pastor’s Breakfast that was happening in the next few days at the Springfield IHOP to present the idea to them.
The breakfast was on June 30, 2013 and it was here that Bob talked to the Seventh-day Adventist pastors in the Eugene/Springfield area about whether he should look into submitting an application for a Low Power FM radio station that would be an educational, non-profit, non-commercial Christian station. He received encouragement to go ahead to see if funds could be raised to build a LPFM radio station, and for a project that would accumulate in the construction of the radio station.
Bob then approached the local Seventh-day Adventist church boards in their business meetings asking them if they would support a project to construct a station. These boards consisted of 8 churches in the local Eugene/Springfield and surrounding areas. At their meetings the churches gave Bob their support.
When Bob spoke to his home church, the Santa Clara Seventh-day Adventist Church, in its Business meeting, and as he laid out his plans for building a station, when he told them that it would cost $2000 dollars to get an engineering study of the surrounding broadcast environment done and to pay the lawyer to submit the FCC construction permit application, one lady stood up and said “I will give you the $2,000 to pay for the whole engineering study”. She subsequently wrote out a check during the meeting. With this money it was determined that they could pay the lawyer, Don Martin of Falls Church, Virginia to prepare the license application and to also cover the costs of the preliminary engineering work to be done by Munn-Reese, Inc. of Coldwater, Michigan for the broadcast environment study.
This lady’s donation was key to getting the radio station project started and was the kickoff of the first of many fund raising events to take place.