In 1984, some momentous changes occurred! After 7 years of struggle, the Federal Communications Commission gave its approval for Mid-Coast’s application and a construction permit to build a radio station!
Next, the FCC sent Mid-Coast its regulations and a checklist of tasks to be completed to complete the license application.
But money was also needed to buy equipment for the new radio station.
The original planning grant awarded to Mid-Coast from the Department of Commerce (DOC) in 1982, allowed the group the opportunity to apply for an equipment grant. After completing an inventory of the equipment to be ordered, the amount needed was $415,989.00. If awarded, the DOC would come up with $305,898 – providing Mid-Coast could come up with a $110,000 matching amount.
But, other great news happened to solve the problem! A miraculous and lucrative new funding-source became available which meant, that Mid-Coast Radio was within reach of matching the Department Of Commerce’s equipment grant! This portended that the money for all the equipment needed to build a radio station could be obtained!
The money solution – BINGO!
Previously, fundraising efforts ranging from benefit concerts to garage sales had only brought in a trickle of money which was sorely needed to match the money required to get the DOC equipment grant.
The new funding source was the result of a jesting comment. During a meeting where Mid-Coasters were despairing of how they were ever going to raise the matching $100,000 needed – Tom Crane jokingly said, “Maybe we should run a Bingo game”. He was promptly hooted down with laughter.
But the seed was planted, and Barbara Blake actually checked in with the State of Missouri to see if running a Bingo game would be possible!
At that time in Kansas City time no riverboat casinos were yet on the horizon. Bingo was one of the only gambling outlets for hopeful citizens.
So, the group sent in an application. and a bingo license was granted by the State of Missouri to run a bingo game once a week. Mid-Coast partnered with 3 other “clubs” who ran a bingo hall in the southern suburb of Kansas City – Belton, Missouri.
The money soon began rolling in from that affluent area. Bingo brought in from $2,000 to $4,000 a week depending on which day of the week the game was held!
. . . but it was not easy to make this kind of money! It took a crew of about 7 unpaid volunteers every week to carry out a bingo game. What was needed was a manager, one or two sellers behind the counter, 2 floor-runners of bingo “paper” and daubers, two floor-runners of “pull-tabs” (Instant pay-off gambling cards), and a caller.
Getting a commitment from this many people every week to spend hours in a smoke-filled bingo hall, proved to be a major challenge!
It wasn’t always possible to get all the people needed to run the game every week and this became stressful, but Mid-Coast volunteers persevered. The group was well on its way to matching the equipment grant it needed to set up the radio station.
The Department of Commerce PTFP grant (Public Telecommunications Facilities Program) had gone in January, 1984 with case-statement documentation.
The Summer Radio Waves newsletter extolled all the great things that had happened so far in 1984.
Annual Corporation Registration Report for 1984.