Often at Christmas time it's the little things that mean a lot. For that reason, a tiny, 3,000-watt radio station has worked hard to bring a little Christmas joy to a lot of children in its Frederick, Md., broadcasting area for the past eight years.
Every year, early in December, WLYQ-FM has scrapped its regular programming for three days to raise money to buy toys for deprived children.
The station stages a 72-hour nonstop radiothon in which listeners phone in pledges.
"This has been our most successful year: We raised $30,000," said Priscilla Wager, news announcer for WZYQ.
Station manager Howard Johnson recalled that the first year the station was able to raise money to provide toys for 200 children; this year 2,000 children will be helped, he said.
After the money is raised, Johnson buys toys at local stores. They are distributed at Christmas by the Salvation Army.
Until then, the toys are stored at the small station. "It's really crowded now, you wouldn't believe it," Wager said. "We have a stuffed monkey on the turntable and we had to move our Associated Press machine to make room for tricycles."
Parents who live in the Frederick area and cannot afford to buy Christmas toys for their children should contact the Salvation Army in Frederick, located at 223 West Fifth St., by calling 662-2311.