Ho, ho, ho holding off until Lite FM hits charity goal

No, it’s not time for the Christmas music yet. But it’s getting close.

Before WLIT-FM (93.9) turns on the Holiday Lite, morning hosts Jeff Corder and Karen Williams have some serious business to take care of: Starting at 8am Thursday, the Clear Channel adult-contemporary station will launch its first radiothon to raise funds to buy gifts for children at Mercy Home for Boys and Girls, 1140 West Jackson Boulevard.

The sooner Lite FM reaches it fundraising goal, the sooner it’ll flip the switch to all-Christmas music. Listeners can track the progress of the Christmas For Kids 2012 radiothon on the station’s website.

“Christmas is all about kids, and when Corder & Karen heard about the great work Mercy Home for Boys and Girls has been doing for children here in our community, they wanted to help,” said Tony Coles, vice president of programming and operations for Clear Channel Chicago and program director of Lite FM. “We were planning to start Christmas music next weekend, but if listeners would like to hear it sooner — and help a great cause at the same time — we hope they will donate today. The abused, abandoned and neglected children will appreciate it greatly.”

In addition to providing full-time residential care since 1887, the nonprofit agency offers counseling and critical, life-saving services to more than 650 hurting and troubled young women and men each year.

If all goes as expected, Coles said, the Christmas music could start as early as Saturday.

Last year the station kicked off the Holiday Lite on November 9, a date chosen by listeners in an online vote. Lite FM traditionally triples or even quadruples its audience share during the two months of nonstop Holly Jolly Christmas and Jingle Bell Rock.

Friday update: It's official: Lite FM turned on the Holiday Lite at 11:15am Friday. First song: Bing Crosby's We Wish You a Merry Christmas.


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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)