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Partnerships of Yore

Partnerships of Yore

Learn about two of FLC's historic community partnerships: the Heart Fund Drive and Radio KIUP.

Heart Fund Drive
Birthplace of the Bed Races

Between the 1950s and the 1970s, the FLC Student Senate transformed a two-day fundraiser into a weeklong, raucous community affair sponsored by local businesses and individuals. The fun and games drew Durango residents to campus to help raise money for students who couldn’t afford medical care. Events over the years included cake auctions, sock hops, bowling tournaments, motorcycle rallies, tug-o-wars, “raunchiest shoes on campus” contests, and the legendary bed races, which were resurrected in 2019 by Durango’s renowned Snowdown Winter Carnival.

On February 12, 1971, the Fort Lewis Independent newspaper declared “Heart Fund Week Successful,” after they raised $2,393.54 (roughly $15,675 in today’s dollars!). The event that year kicked off with a Student Senate-Faculty basketball game organized in part by Duane Smith, professor emeritus of History; the faculty team won 66-61.

While the Heart Fund no longer exists, its collaborative essence carries on through Durango’s Snowdown celebration each February.

Fort Lewis on the air

Live from Durango, it’s KIUP! In 1935, Durango’s first local radio station, KIUP, launched in the Four Corners. FLC staff and students often partnered with the station to present music shows, dramatic readings replete with sound effects, and informational programs on a range of topics from “post-war business opportunities” to “dairying.” Legendary dorm mother and professor at the Old Fort, Margaret Good (pictured far right), often oversaw the collaborations. KIUP still broadcasts today on 930 AM, featuring programs from ESPN Radio.

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