Anonymous Seattle Woman Leaves $10 Million to Rock Radio Station
Seattle alternative rock radio station 90.3 KEXP got a “transformational” shock recently after an anonymous music lover donated $10 million to the station. The incredible sum is believed to be one of the largest ever given to an individual radio broadcaster.
Not much is known about the generous benefactor, other than her name was Suzanne and she loved music. Before she died, Suzanne was well known to the station’s staff and she had told KEXP director of development Betsy Troutman she was planning to leave money to the station in her will. “She was young and I said, ‘Oh, that’s amazing. Thank you very much,’” Troutman recalls. “I didn’t think that it would come when I was here.”
Troutman recalls being summoned the the office of Suzanne’s attorney, where she was told of the $10 million donation. “I was shocked and started crying. The thought that she would do this is mind-blowing to me … It changes our whole landscape. I still get goose bumps every time I think about it.”
According to the Seattle Times, the bulk of the money will be placed in a longtime reserve, providing seed money to local education programs revolving around music, services for emerging artists, outreach activities and more.
“Once you feel the stun from this, then you begin to realize that Suzanne is going to be here for decades to come,” says executive director Tom Mara. “But that gets married with a higher level of seriousness. These dollars have to be stewarded well and managed in the most effective way to make an impact,” he continued. “We’re trying to honor her spirit by applying those funds to directly supporting artists as well.”
KEXP honored Suzanne’s life on April 16 with a special set of programming on The Afternoon Show. Her eclectic taste was weaved into the playlist, including local Seattle artists, soul and Icelandic music.
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