Preston and Steve’s Camp Out For Hunger 2010
By Dennis Bakay and Joe Vallee
Philly2Philly Staff Writers
Sure as the sun rises we can also be sure of another certainty – the parking lot at the Metroplex in Plymouth Meeting will be seized by 93.3 WMMR’s Preston and Steve Show and Philabundance during the first week of December every year.
The 5-day event dubbed “Camp Out For Hunger” is in its 12th year. Like last year, there were doubts about how successful this year’s food drive would be due to that “E” word. In the end, last year was a success despite a poor economy and rampant unemployment.
And, if Tuesday is any indication – the 2010 Camp Out For Hunger will be a resounding success. A wild card this week is the weather factor though. On Wednesday, a major storm with thunderstorms and flooding will sweep through the region and make traveling unsafe for anyone on the roadways. Preston and Steve made it a point to their listeners that today would be the best weather they’d see all week. While it’s true that Wednesday won’t be kind to motorists, Thursday and Friday are expected to be cold with no precipitation.
NBC 10’s Tracy Davidson, who was one of many guests on the show today stated that there is a misconception about people who use Philabundance. We seem to feel that “these people are different” from us, but they are not. There are many people who donated a few years ago, who are in dire straights today and facing the possibility of keeping the heat on or coming up with food for their families. Comcast Sportsnet’s Michael Barkann as well as 6 ABC’s Rick Williams also stopped by to show their support.
“Camp Out” embodies the spirit of altruism and is one of the treasures of our region annually. Anyone who hasn’t attended is strongly urged to do so. Not only are you doing something positive for the community but you get to see Preston and Steve and the whole gang broadcast their show live. And, they feature many bands as well such as Eric Bazilian and Rob Hyman from “The Hooters”, who performed “Time After Time,” which was actually co-written by Hyman, but was one of Cyndi Lauper’s biggest hits.
AT&T donated $5,000 to Philabundance while former Double Dare host Marc Summers donated $500, and Bam and April Margera donated $1,000 to the effort. Java Joe’s in Woodlyn PA provided free breakfast for everyone and McDonald’s was there handing out free coffee.
Tony Borden, owner of Java Joe’s, was glad to step in to try and make somebody’s day a little easier.
“It’s a tremendous event,” says Borden. “I love nothing more than doing stuff like this. This is something that contributes to someone’s well being. Our business gets some exposure and that’s nice, but it’s really about doing something for somebody else. I would do this for free even if we didn’t get a mention. It’s a good thing, and it makes you feel good. We did one day last year here and I felt better that day than I did most of the year. It’s totally worth it.”
Morning Show host Preston Elliot, believes that there is a greater need for “Camp Out” this year than in 2009.
“With the economy, obviously you have people who STILL can’t find work. I had a guy come by last night who was two weeks away from having to use a food shelter, but he got a job, and then he came here and brought food. I thought that was pretty damn incredible,” said Elliot.
“Poverty is involved, which means people have to make choices,” said producer and web master Nick McIlwain. “Do I pay for the heat this month? Do I feed myself? Am I going to pay for my children’s food? Those are terrible, horrible choices to make and people don’t like to admit the situation there in so they don’t necessarily seek help. It’s also people who are working and struggling to make ends meet. So the need is way up, and people have less money to donate, so the cupboard’s are sometimes bare at Philabundance.”
The WMMR faithful always supports Camp Out For Hunger, but Preston and the crew don’t go into the event with any particular goals in mind.
“We don’t set a goal. Our main focus is that the people who do come by we can spend some quality time with. Our volunteers and WMMR Army members handle all that stuff, we let them take that over, and at the end of the week we start to inquire about totals.”
“It’s really tough to keep track of weight and money raised, but one thing we can keep track of is number of tractor trailers full of food that leave here,” says Casey Boy.
What makes Camp Out For Hunger even more legit is the fact that Preston and Steve Morrison do in fact, camp out- literally. The two stay in a trailer the entire week, a concept adopted from the early days of “Camp Out.”
According to Elliot, this will never change no matter how big the event gets.
“That was part of the original conception of this. We said ‘We are gonna stay in one spot and we are not going to leave.’ Originally, our goal was to raise A ton of food. This was in the very beginning of the show when we didn’t have that many listeners. We eventually got that one ton of food, and now we get a ton in a half hour. It’s wonderful. We’re staying here. We’re available, from pre sun up to post sundown, and we’ll take your donations for you.”