Student, Teacher, and Parent’s plans were crushed when the coronavirus arrived on the Delmarva Peninsula. Local schools, colleges, and universities announced that the academic year would be completed at home. The realization that anticipated traditions would be canceled sent shockwaves through the community.
Graduates look forward to numerous rites of passage as they approach the end of the school year. For High School Seniors the prom, senior photos, and spring sports are important. College Graduates will forego gowns and decorated mortarboards, and miss out on dinners and celebrations in their honor. Both sets of students will not be allowed to cross a stage to receive their diploma during traditional commencement ceremonies.
As a member of the community, The Bridge felt it was important to honor our local graduates in a special and unique way. There are five members of The Bridge Staff who have either a high school or college student graduating this year. Bill Sammons and Denise Harper of The Bridge Morning Show considered several ways to honor graduates in the area. Suggestions from Rodney Baylous on Middays, and Mark Dickey on the Afternoon Show were included as the team built a special on-air feature.
The Bridge Yearbook was created to allow parents and grandparents to honor their graduate with an on-air salute. Loved ones were asked to send details about their graduate which would be shared on-air. The Bridge’s vast audience listens across Delmarva and online around the world.
The Bridge Yearbook started to accept submissions in late-April. There was no slow trickle of names, schools, and future plans sent in by proud parents and grandparents. Loved ones know this is a special time in the life of a student. Details from over seventy students were collected on one day alone. Mark Dickey and Dave Hubbard were excited to begin producing the feature. However, they were overwhelmed by the tsunami of submissions.
On May 1, 2020 the first names were shared over the airwaves. Proud parents told The Bridge about their graduates from Laurel to Wilmington, from Lewes to Clayton in Delaware. Teachers shared the future plans of graduates from Ocean City to Eldorado, from Crisfield to Salisbury in Maryland. Loved ones honored young men and women from Woodbine to Cape May, from Wildwood to Vineland in New Jersey. Friends, who missed the chance to cheer at graduation, submitted names from Chincoteague Island to Exmore, from Melfa to Temperanceville in Virginia.
To date The Bridge Yearbook has honored over 230 graduates with on-air salutes broadcast day and night. The station anticipates many more graduate submissions as word of the free program reaches school teachers and administrators. Institutions are eager to provide their students with some form of recognition. Normal traditions, along with the fond memories tied to those events, are another victim of the global pandemic. Thank goodness one local radio station is stepping in to connect and strengthen its community.
The Bridge is a non-profit, community-supported radio station that plays a mix of Adult Contemporary Christian Music, with an emphasis on local people, local issues, and local events. On-air hosts are always entertaining for listeners of every age category, and encourage unity amongst Delmarva’s population. The station is a source of strength to assist the listener’s daily walk with the Lord.
Listeners tune into The Bridge where they live, work, and worship. In Delaware, Maryland, Southern Jersey on 88.7 FM. Southern Maryland from Salisbury to Exmore on 92.5 FM. And in Ocean City, Maryland on 94.3 FM. The station is heard around the world through online streaming, The Bridge mobile app, and on smart speakers such as the Amazon Echo and Google Play.