Designed to raise funds to provide recreation and socialization activities for the adults within Iron and String Life Enhancements, which offers a myriad of services including day programming for mentally retarded and developmentally disabled individuals in Mahoning and Trumbull counties at three Purple Cat locations, according to its website, Golden String strives to enhance the quality of life for disabled individuals in the community.
Modeled after a traditional radio station, and operating out of ISLE’s newest location on North Pearl Street in Youngstown, at Golden String Radio, the clients serve as DJs, clerical staff, creative directors and technical support, according to information provided by Jill Perencevic, director of Purple Cat.
“We knew music was very important to our group,” she said, adding that while Jim Sutman, owner of ISLE and the Purple Cat, decided to offer the radio lounge and got busy working on licensure, the clients have been training at offshoot locations for about a year.
Perencevic also recognized radio station manager Richie Bernacki for his expertise in the set up of the station, where eventually clients of all of the Purple Cat locations will be given the opportunity to become a local celebrity.
“It takes a lot of hard work to get to this point,” said Russell Pavlov, who participates in the day programming services of Purple Cat and serves as one of Golden String radio’s rotating DJs, offering up his impressive sports knowledge alongside Gil Pagan, Purple Cat instructor, and radio host regular.
With a diverse programming schedule that includes country, disco, Motown, show tunes, R & B, and the “headbanger's ball,” in addition to on-air banter, news and sports, Golden String Radio truly has offers something for everyone, broadcasting live Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The station is in the process of making available the rebroadcast, while integrating the playlist and schedule with their website, www.goldenstringradio.org.
“It’s been hilarious,” said Jim Sutman, who shared that while at first he was caught up in the technical and staffing issues of the station, now that the show is up and running, “It pleases me that they can just be themselves,” he said.
In an effort to fund monthly operating costs, training and ongoing equipment needs, Golden String is offering platinum, gold, silver and copper sponsorships as well as an individual membership opportunity at a cost of $5 per month, or a one-time $60 annual fee. For more information, interested parties can contact Chandra Brode at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 440-969-8907.
With the new Golden String internet radio program at Purple Cat’s newest location, which will soon offer a full-service gourmet kitchen facilitating a hot lunch program as well as a space for preparation of the Purple Cat’s unique pepper jelly, which can be purchased by contacting email@example.com or by calling 330-536-2100 to place an order, the staff and clients of the Purple Cat program have, as usual, their hands in numerous cookie jars and are keeping true to their mantra -- work hard, have fun.
Photos by Kathleen Palumbo, Town Crier correspondent
With the backdrop of the live Golden String radio show broadcast, Purple Cat day programming participants and two of the show’s rotating DJ’s, Lonnie Mills and Elijah Pegram demonstrate more than a little Christmas spirit at the new North Pearl Street location.