By Carissa Hutchinson

By Carissa Hutchinson

I’ve always had a love for winter. I remember as a kid skating for hours at the outdoor rink at Mich-e-ke-wis in Alpena. My mom would have to force me off that rink by the end of each night. We would have a long ride home back to our warm house where she would tuck me in for the night and then I would drift off to sleep dreaming about the next time I would hit the ice.

Unfortunately not everyone goes home to a nice warm house like I did.  Many families in Michigan struggle to pay their utility bills, but The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW) is there to help them. THAW has provided $115 million in emergency energy assistance to more than 175,000 Michigan households since its inception in 1985.

With the support from the 11th Annual Winter Survival Radiothon hosted by WWJ 950, millions can be raised to help this organization.  The live broadcast takes place at WWJ Newsradio 950’s studio from 5:00 am to 7:00 pm on Friday, February 7th. Anyone can call and make a donation at (888) 579-4950 or go online at or In addition, DTE Energy will match dollar for dollar each pledge this year.

Coney’s For a Cause

Not only is WWJ 950 and THAW hosting this Radiothon, but there will be many other events throughout the week. On Thursday, February 6  the 3rd Annual Celebrity Coneys for a Cause will be held at American Coney Island located at 114 W. Lafayette in Detroit from 11:30 am-2 pm. Your servers will be local media personalities, public figures, entertainers and athletes.

The stars of the hit show “Hardcore Pawn” – Les, Seth and Ashley Gold – will host the 2nd Annual Hardcore THAW special private event on Saturday, February 8th from 8:00 – 11:00 pm at American Jewelry & Loan. Enjoy food, drink, and music and bring along your items and negotiate with the crew from American Jewelry and Loan. VIP tickets will be $125 and general admission will be $60.

Winter Survival Radiothon

If you’re more of a homebody then you can always check out the Radiothon’s online auction. Go to, click on the Radiothon button and select the Auction link. The auction begins Tuesday, February 4th at 6 am and runs through Monday, February 10th at 6 pm. Bid on regional items from Detroit’s leading businesses, cultural institutions, sporting venues, entertainment packages and personal luxuries.

Help your neighbors stay warm this winter and be sure to attend one of these events in support of THAW.   By supporting THAW you’ll be helping families pay for heat that they desperately need this winter. When families have heat like I did as a child then those children can have warm memories too.

Carissa Hutchinson is a senior at Ferris State University studying television and digital media production. She’s currently on two internships with CBS 62/CW50 Detroit and M-1 Studios in Ferndale. While attending college she was a very active member of Delta Zeta and the Media Communications Association. Take a look at Carissa’s work at

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