A new education-based radio station will be making its way to Penns Valley, but not for at least nine months.
The Penns Valley Conservation Association, which sponsors the radio station, received Federal Communications Commission permission to construct a low-power FM community radio station and transmitter on the dial at 101.7, called WSOV: Sounds of the Valleys.
A group of community members filed an application in October and were given the OK to move forward in January, said radio station founder Lisa Marshall.
But the idea was sparked about four years ago, and it was announced publicly at the fireman’s carnival last summer that it would become a reality.
The vision, Marshall said, is to promote local history and natural resources of the valley while also including creative expression. The mission, she added, is to build and strengthen the Penns Valley community with education and entertainment.
“This is our way of giving the people of our area a voice,” Marshall said. “There’s a high and interesting base of local folks who make music and appreciate local history. That’s what we want to provide.”
The broadcast and recording studios will be in the St. Luke’s Cultural Center in Millheim, said spokesman Jeremiah Tosten, another founding member.
“All we have is the bare space,” said fellow founder and committee member Larry Wolken. “We’ll need renovations to the space to make it suitable and a great deal of equipment, including FM transmitter, audio gear, tower and antenna.”
The committee is also brainstorming creative programming ideas, Wolken added. Marshall said some ideas include a reading section of short stories at noon daily and children’s bedtime stories as a nightly program.
Tosten said radio station repesentatives are hoping to coordinate with the Penns Valley Area School District in addition to local artists and musicians.
To get the radio station up and running, the committee is looking for community support and donations.
The first fundraising effort will be held Friday with a live audience radio show at the Bremen Town Ballroom, 105 E. Main St., Millheim. During the next nine months, Tosten said, there will be a series of monthly live programs to gain more support.
Live entertainment will include The Rattie Bros., Harold Taddy, Nell Hanssen, The Stevedores, Eric Farmer and Cory Neidig.
Tickets will be $10 at the door, and a buffet supper will be available starting at 6 p.m. for an additional $10. Proceeds will benefit the construction of WSOV’s studios. Live entertainment will follow dinner.