Public radio station KCRW-Santa Monica (89.9 FM) raised more money on Friday, Aug. 19 — the final day of its 2011 summer membership drive — than on any other day in the history of the station’s on-air fundraising efforts.

KCRW is a community service of Santa Monica College.

On average, between Aug. 11 and 18, the station was raising about $100,000 from about 900 contributors per day.

But on that final Friday of the drive, a record-shattering total of $350,000 came in from 2,531 members. “Morning Becomes Eclectic,” hosted by Jason Bentley, which airs weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon, raised $111,000. And aided by a $50,000 challenge grant from the Wertheimer Family Foundation during the station’s local broadcast of NPR’s “All Things Considered” from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., another $97,000 was donated.

Additional challenge grants from actor Will Ferrell ($10,000) and Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson ($20,000) helped the station raise matching funds throughout the drive. Daily drawings for the new Apple iPad II, and sweepstakes vacations to Barcelona and Costa Rica add to the allure of the station’s fundraising efforts, in addition to hundreds of incentives donated by local businesses in the form of premiums, including dinners, gift certificates, concerts, museum memberships and more.

“Aug. 19 was the greatest single day in KCRW’s fundraising history,” said pledge drive manager Laura Shumate. “An extraordinary feat like this only happens because of the community we are so devoted to — I’m speaking of all of our supporting members, as well as the more than 1,000 phone volunteers and drive staffers who help us put on our membership drives.”

Having reduced the number of pledge drive days from 11 to nine in the past year, the station announced that more than 10,120 people donated approximately $1.35 million during the on-air summer drive. The station still lmits the number of pledge drives to two per year but donations are accepted all year round at www.kcrw.com/join. Contributors are still eligible for the Costa Rica sweepstakes, which ends on Sep. 13.

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