Chippewa Falls radio station gives back to more than a dozen restaurants affected by pandemic

103.7 WWIB Chippewa Falls started a fundraising challenge to surprise local restaurants hit hard by the pandemic, with a generous tip.
Published: Apr. 14, 2021 at 5:28 PM CDT
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CHIPPEWA VALLEY, Wis. (WEAU) -103.7 WWIB Chippewa Falls together with Markquart Motors and other local businesses, challenged their listeners to fill ‘Wisconsin’s Biggest Tip Jar!’ to in turn give back to local restaurants and wait staff that was adversely affected by the closures and restrictions of the past year.

“We started off with $3,660 in our tip jar from our generous sponsors and then we asked our listeners would you match this?” says Caleb Svendsen, WWIB promotions director.

130.7 gave listeners five days to match the initial donations, within five days, Svendsen says they raised nearly $13,000.

“We’re stopping at local restaurants we’re trying out their foods and just telling them how important they are to our Wisconsin economy and then leaving behind a big tip to surprise and bless them,” says Svendsen.

The fifth stop of 16 surprise visits in four days is fourth generation restaurant, Randy’s, in Eau Claire.

“Especially those who depended on tips for a living we want to step up to the plate and give them something special,” Svendsen says.

Amy Cope, co-owner of Randy’s Family Restaurant says the past year has been a whirlwind, but is starting to notice an uptick in people tipping, as their regulars slowly return.

“We’re very thankful for that because our staff—that’s their wage—a lot depends on the tipping, so we’re very thankful for that,” says Cope.

Svendsen went on to hand Cope $1,000. He says he’s grateful to be using the platform at WWIB for good and for giving back.

“For people to catch that vision and say we want to help and everybody’s had their own struggles and trials in the last year but for people to have such a giving spirit and giving heart and say yeah there’s other people that have had it worse that we did...we’re a Christian radio station we call it being the hands and feet of Jesus, we want to love other people like we’ve been loved,” says Svendsen.

Svendsen says he hopes these acts of kindness will inspire others in the community to pay it forward.

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