Steve Hartline, owner of WCLE 104.1 at right, poses with fellow Empty Stocking Fund associates after his radio station was given the 2021 Luther Masengill Community Service Award by the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame. From left, Stan and Brenda Lawson, Sandra and Tom Rowland and Mr. Hartline, who coordinate the annual event that provides gifts for more than 1,000 children each year through Empty Stocking Fund.
WCLE Mix 104.1 was awarded the Luther Community Service Award during the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame this weekend in Murfreesboro.
The award is named after the legendary Luther Masingill of WDEF in Chattanooga.
It marked the second community service Luther Award for WCLE. The first was for the station's coverage of the 2020 tornadoes. This year WCLE was cited for its Empty Stocking Fund, which raised over $150,000 for needy children at Christmas.
On hand for the award presentation were station owners Steve and Jennifer Hartline, along with staff members Dewayne Williams, Bridget Forrester, Yvette Bahn, Gideon Ratcliff and Kristen Templeton. They were accompanied by Tom and Sandra Rowland, former station owners, and Stan and Brenda Lawson.
The Rowlands began the Empty Stocking Fund on WCLE in 1975. Four years ago, the program was combined with Brenda Lawson's Creating Christmas Memories and the late Reverend M.E. Littlefield's Party for Children.
The Hartlines, Rowlands and Lawsons continue Empty Stocking Fund on WCLE each year.
During the state meeting, The Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame paid tribute to the memory of the late Corky Whitlock of WBAC.