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WAMU 88.5 to honor station founders and champions of public media at 50th anniversary gala

WAMU 88.5 will celebrate 50 years on air in Washington with a gala honoring voices from the station’s past and present, and recognizing leaders of the global community for their support of public broadcasting. The event will take place at 6:30 p.m., on Oct. 29, 2011, at the National Building Museum (401 F Street, NW, Washington, D.C.).

Emceed by Carl Kasell, the official judge and scorekeeper of NPR’s quiz show, Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me!, and featuring special guest Paula Poundstone, the gala will bring together station fans and local and national public radio luminaries for a black-tie affair complete with a reception, dinner, dancing and a live auction to benefit WAMU 88.5’s programs.

WAMU 88.5 will honor 12 station founders, among them past general managers, producers and on-air talk and music personalities who’ve shaped the station’s identity as the standard for lifelong learning through civil discourse, in-depth news and compelling entertainment. The program will also include the presentation of honors to the William J. Clinton Foundation*, the Lyndon B. Johnson Library, and NPR special correspondent Susan Stamberg for service to the global community and contributions to the field of public broadcasting.

In celebration of the station’s long history of programming bluegrass and traditional Americana music, entertainment will be provided by The Gibson Brothers, the International Bluegrass Music Award-winning duo of brothers recognized as one of the most important bands in the genre today. The evening will also pay homage to WAMU 88.5’s vintage jazz programming with music by popular big band ensemble, Doc Scantlin and His Imperial Palms Orchestra.

Individual tickets are $500. A portion of the ticket price is tax-deductible. To purchase tickets, or for more information, visit http://wamu.org/50-years/events.php.

American University’s radio station since 1961, WAMU 88.5 is the leading public radio station for NPR news and information in the greater Washington, D.C., area. With more than 740,000 listeners in the Washington-Baltimore region, WAMU 88.5 is where “the mind is our medium.” WAMU also broadcasts from 88.3 Ocean City on the Delmarva peninsula and in Washington on three HD channels — the flagship frequency at 88.5–1; WAMU’s Bluegrass Country, a bluegrass and Americana station, at 105.5 FM and 88.5–2; and WAMU–3, at 88.5–3, a news and information station broadcasting international coverage from the BBC and offering public radio programs unavailable elsewhere in the Washington area. For more information, visit wamu.org.

* President Clinton will not be in attendance. A representative will accept the award on behalf of the Clinton Foundation.

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