WCVE in Virginia plans “puzzle-solving” fundraiser

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WCVE, Central Virginia’s Community Idea Stations, is planning a unique fundraiser for this spring: A “puzzle-solving event” designed by Ravenchase Adventures in Richmond, Va. The Big Idea Challenge runs April 29 through June 2 and the station hopes to raise $250,000 to supplement its on-air pledge dollars.

“With the uncertain status of government funding, we have been looking for lots of different ways to reach out beyond our traditional audiences and involve folks who peripherally know about us but may not be as close,” Lisa Tait, vice president for development at WCVE, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “We wanted something different to tie in with our mission and with the people who like public broadcasting, who are intellectually curious.”

Teams will pay a $30 entry fee for contest. Challenges change weekly and will highlight five areas pubTV “impact areas” — arts and culture, history, science, children’s education and news/public affairs. Teams earn a point for each dollar of fundraising, and up to 500 points by solving weekly puzzles. Participants can raise money in any way they’d like, such as soliciting donations, or hosting a bake sale or lemonade stand.

“As far as we know, we are the only public broadcasting station in the country to break the mold,” Tait said, “and there are a number of stations around the country watching attentively to see how successful we will be.”