WATERTOWN — On Tuesday, May 5, 2020, Community Broadcasters, WPBS and Westelcom joined forces to raise funds for the United Way of Northern New York’s Crisis Fund. The Crisis Fund supports the United Way’s purchases of life-essential items for 25 different communities in the North Country and adds additional grant funding to local, human-service nonprofit organizations.

Community Broadcasters’ radio-athon went from 6AM to 6PM on all eight of their radio stations. Jim Leven, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “I’m am incredibly proud of the entire Community Broadcasters team. Their on-air enthusiasm was contagious, and it showed with the volume of calls received for donations! During this unprecedented time in our nation, we are very proud to support United Way of Northern New York.”

WPBS hosted the “Music Across the Border” benefit concert from 7:30PM to 9PM. The concert included 15 local musicians from the United States and Canada, who prerecorded their performances in their own studios and sent the digital files to the television station. Mark Prasuhn, President and General Manager, described the event, “This was an incredibly rare and unique opportunity to reach across our entire broadcast region in the US and Canada to bring joy to our viewers and to raise money for the United Way, who’s helping families and communities survive this pandemic and economic challenge. WPBS is honored to have hosted this event.”

The system to link the donors together with the United Way was provided by WESTELCOM. “It was an easy decision to support this event,” said Paul Barton, President and General Manager. “We take great pride in developing and providing unique telecom solutions to meet the needs of great organizations, such as the United Way of Northern New York. This is our home, and having the opportunity to support our neighbors and friends is humbling.”

Jamie Cox, President and CEO of United Way of Northern New York, summarized the event, “On behalf of my board, staff and the communities that we serve, we are delighted that we had the opportunity to work with local companies who believe in supporting the areas they serve. Each company put the residents of the North Country ahead of corporate financials. That defines patriotism.”

Sponsors for the radio-athon included McDonalds, The DWI Guys operated by Nave Law Firm, LA Quarry, Logan’s Equipment Inc., Top of the Hill Mattress & Furniture, Fetched Food, Little Caesars, Northern Credit Union, Top of the Hill Sealcoating, Foy Benefits, i2i Automotive Repair, Community Health Center of the North Country, Witherbee & Whalen, Inc., and Blevins Bros Inc.

About The United Way of Northern New York Inc.

United Way of Northern New York’s mission is to measurably improve the lives of all residents of Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties through leadership, training and funding.  It is a designated 501(c)(3) charitable, nonprofit organization by the IRS with an EIN of 15-0543356. Its offices are at 200 Washington St., Suite 402A, Watertown, NY 13601. Visit or follow us on Facebook or Instagram.  Questions can be directed to or (315) 788-5631.  To support UWNNY’s Crisis Fund, go to


Media Contacts: Mark Prasuhn, President & General Manager, WPBS TV (; 315-921-1023) | Tracy DuFlo, Executive Director of Production, WPBS TV (; 315-782-3142)

WPBS TV – Spectrum channel 8 in Jefferson and Lewis County; Spectrum channel 12 in St. Lawrence County; and over-the-air channel 16.1/18.1 – is a PBS station serving approximately 650,000 households throughout Northern New York and Eastern Ontario via cable, satellite, Internet and over-the-air distribution. WPBS is a non-profit organization whose mission is to educate, entertain and inform its audience through superior local and national content and media engagement, in order to enhance the lives of those it serves. WPBS has perhaps the most comprehensive and diverse weekly lineup of music performance programming on broadcast television – encompassing many genres including pop, country, folk, gospel, classical, Broadway, opera, jazz and bluegrass. The broadcast home of Austin City Limits, Great Performances, Saturday Night Concerts, The Kate and Barnegie Hall – WPBS is also a long-time supporter of musicians, artists and cultural organizations and institutions across our region. More information about WPBS, including a full channel listing, is available at, or by following WPBS on Twitter and Facebook.


About Community Broadcasters, LLC

Media Contact: James L. Leven, President, Community Broadcasters LLC (; 315-782-1240)

Community Broadcasters owns and operates the following stations: WBDR-FM, WOTT-FM, WATN-FM, WTOJ-FM & WEFX-FM in Watertown, NY. WLFK-FM, WQTK-FM & WSLB-AM in Ogdensburg, NY. WWKT-FM, WSIM-FM, WOLH-FM, WDKD-FM, WDKD-AM, WFRK-FM, WHYM-AM & WPDT-FM in Florence, SC. WWBD-FM, WWHM-AM, WIBZ-FM, WDXY-AM & WLJI-FM in Sumter, SC. WGFG-FM, WQKI-FM, WSPX-FM & WTQS-AM in Orangeburg, SC. WECQ-FM, WHWY-FM, WWAV-FM & WZLB-FM in Fort Walton Beach, FL.



Media Contact: Deirdre Forcier, Director of Marketing

(; 518-962-8122)

Westelcom provides advanced telecommunications solutions to customers operating throughout Northern New York’s 6 county region between Lake Ontario and Lake Champlain. Westelcom offers a strategic suite of business communication services over its fiber network which includes telephone, high-speed broadband, dedicated internet, and private Ethernet networks for multi-office connectivity and SD-WAN design. Westelcom also offers advanced IP phone and data solutions to include hosted PBX, hosted firewall, server colocation, and carrier-neutral colocation services. Their international presence and direct connectivity to Microsoft, Amazon, and Google cloud services enables access to a robust customer ecosystem. The company currently operates three New York based data centers strategically located in Watertown, Plattsburgh and Syracuse allowing for efficient connectivity to metro markets including Montreal, New York City and Boston.

As a leading carrier of telecommunications services, Westelcom has extensive expertise in serving the health care industry to include providing managed internet services and network operation services. Their Mission is to exceed customers’ expectations by providing excellent customer service in communications solution design, delivery and support.” Westelcom can be reached at or 1.866.482.5425.