Support WILL

Meet one family’s three generations of WILL supporters

Rose Nolan discovered WILL radio in 1955. Now her children and grandchildren are fans, too.

Maureen Henry, Colleen Nolan-Grob, Rose Nolan, Kathy Nolan Henry

Although WILL-TV was brand new in 1955 when Rose Nolan moved from Chicago to Champaign-Urbana for her husband to enroll at the University of Illinois, she first discovered WILL Radio’s classical music programming. Today she’s still a WILL and public broadcasting fan, now joined by her children and grandchildren.

Daughter Colleen Nolan-Grob, an oncology nurse, remembers growing up in a house filled with music. “If it was on WILL, we listened to it—symphonies, marching band pieces, jazz,” she said. “My dad, who had been in a drum and bugle corps, would whistle with any type of music and often would serve as conductor—he was pretty good at it. My mother would have the radio on anytime she was in the kitchen or in her sewing room.”

Kathy Nolan Henry, employed at the Illinois State Geological Survey, distinctly recalls their youngest sister, Moira, enjoying The Electric Company.

Her daughter, Maureen Henry, loved the PBS Kids program Arthur. “They had positive lessons and interesting guest characters,” she said. “I’ll never forget that I learned who Yo Yo Ma and Click & Clack were because of that show.” Maureen is now an English teacher at Heritage Junior High School in Homer.

All four agree that WILL offers an incredible array of widely accessible programs. “From kids to adults, liberals and conservatives, it really is something for everyone,” Colleen said. Maureen added, “Watching programs on WILL was something that my family could do together, and have discussions about. My parents instilled an appreciation for WILL in me from a very young age. We support the stations because we believe in what public broadcasting is all about.”

Sustaining Members Provide Steady Income

Sharon Michalove uses electronic funds tranfer to contribute to WILL monthly.

Sharon Michalove

Sharon Michalove is a sustaining member of WILL. Her membership never lapses, but she can stop or change her gift at any time.

When you set up a recurring gift through an automatic bank transfer (EFT), a credit card payment or through University of Illinois payroll deduction, you can designate that the gift continue until you wish to make a change. Ongoing support, like that provided by Sharon and many other Friends of WILL, provides WILL with steady, reliable income that balances the uncertainty of other funding sources.

Because this option reduces the amount we spend on renewal notices, sustained giving ensures that your dollars go farther to support the programs you care about. Plus, the one-step process is much more convenient for you.

Sharon used payroll deduction to make her monthly contribution to WILL when she worked at the University of Illinois. Now that she's retired, she uses electronic funds tranfer. "I never have to remember to send in my contribution, and WILL is assured of sustained montly support for their program services," she said. 

Get more information on sustained giving.

Join Our Ireland, England, Masterpieces & Mysteries Tour

Sept. 19-30:  See splendid Masterpiece Theatre and Mystery! locations, along with Dublin, the Cliffs of Moher, Connemara, Kylemore Abbey, Lismore Castle, Waterford and Holmfirth.

Lismore Castle in Ireland

Travel to England and Ireland to see splendid Masterpiece Theatre, Mystery! and comedy series locations. Travelers share something from the start—a passion for WILL and its programs. We'll see Dublin, the Cliffs of Moher, Galway, Connemara, Kylemore Abbey, Lismore Castle, Waterford, Shrewsbury, and Holmfirth, and join mystery expert Antony Richards for a full-day "Inspectors Morse and Lewis Tour" of Oxford. Review the full itinerary for details. For more information, call Danda Beard at 217-333-7300. To make your reservation, call Judy McElfresh at TourGroupPlanners (217-422-5002 or toll-free 877-386-4777).

Civil War Train Tour

Travel on private restored train cars from the 1950s, with sightseeing in Gettysburg, Antietam, Williamsburg and more.

Cannons at Gettysburg with grave markers in background

Sept. 26-Oct. 6, 2013: Civil War Train

Travel on our Civil War Train, featuring unique private restored train cars from the 1950s, to Washington D.C. and Williamsburg with sightseeing in Gettysburg and Virginia along with other historic sites, museums and battlefields. Also included Included are Antietam, Harper's Ferry, the USS Monitor, Baltimore's B&O Railroad useum and Washington, D.C.  Review the full itinerary for details. For more information, call Danda Beard at 217-333-7300. To make your reservation, call Judy McElfresh at TourGroupPlanners (217-422-5002 or toll-free 877-386-4777).

Choosing to Make a Bequest Gift

In addition to their current annual support, John and Lissa May Mudrick have chosen a bequest gift to underscore their appreciation for and enjoyment of the WILL stations.

Head and shoulders image of Lissa May and John Mudrick

Lissa is a University of Illinois graduate who first discovered FM 90.9 for background music while studying. Later, as an agent for State Farm Insurance, she became a charter member of WILL’s Business Partners program. John discovered the stations when he moved to the area in 1987 to begin a new position with Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul.

Shortly after they married in 1993, Lissa and John prepared wills and realized they also wanted to make provisions for various charitable organizations that hold special meaning for them.
“We liked the fact that we could choose to earmark a percentage of our estate, rather than a fixed dollar amount, for WILL and other charitable organizations,” Lissa said. “It’s a good way to think in terms of a ‘no matter what, we can do this’ amount. Plus, it allows for the fluctuations in the value of your assets,” she added.

“And since none of us knows what life has in store for us, it’s also beneficial that the bequest arrangements are adjustable or even revocable in the future,” John said.

The programs that spur John’s support are This Old House, Motor Week, As Time Goes By and any history-related show. Lissa’s favorites include All Things Considered, Weekend Edition and Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.
“We both enjoy the in-depth news reporting, the intelligence and wit in the various entertainment shows and the quality of the research and production in the history and documentary programs. We’re happy to do our part to support public broadcasting because we understand how Illinois Public Media enhances our daily lives,” Lissa said.

“Thanks to WILL’s programs, we keep finding and learning new and different perspectives on our world community,” John added.


Public stakeholders: The Britt family

Tad and Mary Susan Britt support Illinois Public Media financially to make sure the WILL stations stay strong.

Tad and Mary Susan Britt

“When you contribute to WILL, you feel like you’re a stakeholder, part of the local ownership,” Tad said. “You care more about it and you get more benefits from it.” They say they’re grateful that quality television and radio are available for them and their daughter, Grace. “It’s like food for the soul,” says Tad.

An archaeologist who works in research and development,Tad has AM 580 on at the office most days listening to Focus and The Afternoon Magazine. “It keeps me company at work,” he said. He appreciates NPR News programming because “they focus in on an issue instead of cramming 20 stories into a few minutes. You don’t get that quality of journalism elsewhere. It really is hard to find,” he said.

Favorites for Mary Susan, director of advancement for the University of Illinois College of Media, are the PBS programs Antiques Roadshow and This Old House, and the Ken Burns’ documentaries, particularly The National Parks. She values Illinois Public Media’s work in the community, like workshops for day care providers, training for teens in TV and radio production, and efforts to fight childhood obesity. “The WILL stations are such an important part of what makes this community a good place to live,” she said.

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