The Spirit Catholic Radio Network started broadcasting in July 16 when Spirit 90.1 FM KFJS went on the air. The 1,400 watt signal covers about a 35-mile radius around North Platte.
The station programs are based in Omaha. During the last year, more than $40,000 was raised by supporters in and around the North Platte area, which combined with a $60,000 contribution from an anonymous donor, purchased the broadcast equipment in North Platte.
“It always surprises me how generous people can be, especially when there’s so many other worthy projects they could be sharing their hard-earned dollars with,” said Mark Stadler of North Platte, who helped raise the needed funds. “But when people believe in something strongly enough like this radio station, they’re willing to make whatever sacrifice is necessary, and I’m humbled to have played a part in this effort.”
Phone calls and informational meetings began last January to raise the money.
“It’s great to see the excitement and enthusiasm for this new signal and non-profit radio ministry among those that helped to make it a reality,” SCRN Station Director John Soukup said. “I can’t thank enough our North Platte fundraising team and all those who helped us with there prayers and support.”
The SCRN now reaches more than 75 percent of Nebraska’s population.
Peggy Orr of North Platte said it is a great addition.
“I’ve never felt like I need to keep the radio on until I heard the broadcast for the first time. I was so excited to hear what we’ve been working towards for so long," she said.
Spirit Catholic Radio stared in Omaha in 1999 on a 500-watt signal. In 2009, the
station boosted its reach with the 50,000 watts at 102.7 FM, and now more than 1 million potential listeners in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa can get the broadcast.
Nearly three years ago, Spirit 91.5 FM went on the air in Grand Island, and that signal was upgraded last year to reach Grand Island, Hastings and Kearney. In addition, Spirit 88.3 FM went on the air in northeast Nebraska recently.
All the signals are all part of the network based in Omaha.
The SCRN, a qualified 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation, can also be heard on the Internet at www.spiritcatholicradio.com.