June is traditionally the time for life changes. Graduations, weddings, moves, long-awaited vacations, and more all crowd this month's calendar. That holds true for WTVP staff as well, but we are also observing the retirements of two long-time employees - Janet McGrath, our Outreach Manager, and Irene Stout, our Administrative Assistant. Both have served you and public television with dedication, skill and total commitment. We sincerely thank them for their selfless service, and we wish them Godspeed and all good things for the future. They will be missed.
I would also like to recognize the departure of Ken Kavanagh from Bradley University, where he served as Athletic Director since 1996. Ken was one of the first people I dealt with when I became CEO of WTVP that same year, and he was instrumental in WTVP broadcasting Bradley women's basketball games for the past 14 seasons. Those broadcasts were tangible evidence of his commitment to gender equity in college sports, and his willingness to rework game schedules underscored his sensitivity to our Lawrence Welk Show viewers.
While the "people departures" are always bittersweet, one transition I am looking forward to is the retirement of long-term debt. The Save Our Station pledges you made in 2008 served as the basis of a $1.6 million bridge loan. That loan was instrumental in our efforts to resolve long-term funding issues that threatened to close the station. Many of the pledges were multiple-year pledges, and people have been true to fulfilling their commitments. As of the moment, that $1.6 million bridge loan balance is down to just $50,000. Your continued fulfillment of pledges will soon retire this debt and allow us to tackle retirement of our $2 million mortgage. Thank you for your faithfulness to your word. Being that we're in Central Illinois where a person's word is his/her bond, I'm not surprised that you are.
Best wishes for a safe and restful summer.
President & CEO, WTVP (Retired)