Christmas Choirs and 2,000 Toys Lift MIX 101.5 To New Heights

“We proved that the power of radio is alive in its ability to inspire and bring our community together toward something bigger than itself.”
— WRAL-FM Two Men & a Mom Co-Host Bryan Lord

MIX Toy Drive

WRAL-FM Personality Bryan Lord sees the sun rise from his perch atop a scissor-lift at Crabtree Valley Mall. He decided not to come down until MIX’s goal of collecting 1,000 toys was doubled!

WRAL-FM Personality Bryan Lord recently got some real-life experience in how powerful what you say can be.  A few days ago one on-air comment got Lord suspended 40 feet in the air for two days.  Sounds like this story may have a bad ending, but, in fact, his one, bold boast resulted in a Toy Drive with epic results.

In December, MIX 101.5 held a party for some Boys and Girls Clubs kids, complete with visit from Santa and a gift for each child.  Two Men and Mom hosts Lord, Kyle Smelser and Sarah King were blown away by the reaction from the kids and that inspired them to want to do more.

That’s when Lord’s “people might just take you at your word” experience comes in.  He set the stage for his unexpected big stunt for Capcom:

RADIO 101 — what you say ON-AIR you have to be ready to back up. When the mic’s went live Monday morning Kyle and Sarah baited me.

Preparing for the toy drive I mentioned in multiple meetings that I would “do anything” to raise 1,000 toys for the Boys and Girls Club. Kyle and Sarah know I hate heights. LIVE Monday morning around 7:00 a.m., Kyle baited me into saying “I’ll do anything to raise these toys”. What I didn’t know when I said that was Kyle and Sarah had set up a 40 ft. scissor lift outside of Coastal Federal Credit Union next to Crabtree Valley Mall — which, as many of you know…is a very high-traffic area during the holidays. They told me I couldn’t come down until the station raised 1,000 toys.

If you’ve met Bryan in person, you know he’s always up for some fun.  But this stunt had him shaking in his radio boots.  He said:

Think about something you’re afraid of. Something that puts your stomach in knots. Now imagine enduring that for 33 hours. After the shock wears off (for me it was about 6 hours) handling whatever your afraid of gets easier as each hour passes. But I can tell you, you never quite get “comfortable”. You more so numb yourself to the fear as much as possible and stay focused on the end goal. For me, the end goal was 1,000 toys…then 2,000.

MIX Toy Drive

Domino’s Pizza found WRAL-FM’s Bryan Lord, who stayed up on the scissor lift until Two Men and a Mom raised 1,000 more toys for kids that may not otherwise get a toy this Christmas.

Double the fright for double the fun.  Lord continued:

Because of the compassion and generosity of our listeners, we hit 1,000 toys that evening around 4:30 p.m. It was around the 900 toy mark that Kyle called me LIVE and asked a question I feared. Kyle said that because of the overwhelming amount of donations in such short period of time that he and Sarah wanted to try for 2,000, which would require I stay on the scissor lift overnight, wake up early and do what we had just done ALL OVER AGAIN. I thought about the hundred kids we’d watched smile as they opened presents at the Boys and Girls Club in Raleigh. For some of them that night, that will be the only gift they get this Christmas. I thought about an additional 1,000 kids that would receive the joy that opening a Christmas present gives you. No kid should be without that. With those thoughts running through my mind at what felt like a zillion miles per hour, I said I’d spend the night on the lift. I’m glad I did. The next day we raised an additional 1,000 toys and surpassed our 2,000 toy goal by raising 2,396 toys in total. None of it would’ve been possible without the ENTIRE MIX team.

MIX Toy Drive

Generous MIX 101.5 listeners donated over 1,000 toys for children who might not otherwise have toys Christmas morning. WRAL-FM got so excited about the drive on Monday, December 12, that they extended it for an extra day and moved the goal to 2,000 toys!

He was full of praise for his fellow MIX staffers who keep things going on the ground.

“Seriously, from MIX General Manager Katie Phillips and Program Directo rMichele Williams gambling on the idea, Sarah King and Kyle Smelser broadcasting 12 hours straight for 2 STRAIGHT DAYS, MIX Personalities Diane Ramsey, Jim Kelly, Patrick McMahon and Bill Jordan running around the city doing call-ins and collecting toys, the unsung heroes — Promotions Director Jason Newton and Promotions Coordinator Justina Kruser organizing every single part of the process, the promotions assistants running around the Triangle picking up toys and keeping me sane on the lift, and most importantly — the MIX 101.5 listeners who showcased their generous spirits, we proved that the power of radio is alive in its ability to inspire and bring our community together toward something bigger than itself.”

Newton had praise for Lord’s being flexible with the challenge.

“The original plan was to leave Bryan up on the scissor lift till we collected 1,000 toys which we all thought was a high but achievable goal,” said Newton.  “It became clear to us on Monday afternoon from the overwhelming support that the goal had to be changed and Bryan was up to the challenge.  He had a tent/sleeping bag and that’s about it! We collected over 2,100 toys and more are still coming in!”

MIX Christmas Choir Concert

Fuquay-Varina High School gets ready to perform in the MIX 101.5 Christmas Choir Competition concert presented by Coastal Federal Credit Union at Crabtree Valley Mall.

And if the toy drive wasn’t enough, MIX 101.5 had another fun reason to be at Crabtree Valley Mall for those two days.  The station hosted the 4th Annual MIX 101.5 Christmas Choir Competition Concert for the first and second place winners in both divisions on Monday, December 12, and Tuesday, December 13, 2016.

“You can tell how hard the kids worked in preparation of their performances as they were fantastic!” said Newton.  “I had the position next to the singers and I had the luxury of seeing all the smiling proud parents.  One school Apex Friendship High School was actually at Disney World when they found out they won and they hopped on the bus early Monday morning to make it to their performance.  They were tired from traveling but you couldn’t tell in their performance as they rocked!”

The winners for the 2016 MIX 101.5 Christmas Choir Competition were:

DIVISION I (Elementary & Middle School)

  • 1st Place – Thales Academy
  • 2nd Place – Fuquay Varina Elementary School
  • 3rd Place – Immaculata Catholic School of Durham

DIVISION II (High School)

  • 1st Place – Fuquay Varina High School
  • 2nd Place – Apex Friendship High School
  • 3rd Place – Northwood High School

Thanks to all the talented choirs who participated in the 2016 competition, and congratulations to the winners!

And thanks again to all the amazing MIX listeners who contributed toys to what we think should be known as the 1st Annual Bryan Lord Scissor-Lift Toy Drive.

Thanks to WRAL-FM’s Jason Newton for these capcom photos.


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