Every October, the Don and Dana Myers Cancer Center in Seymour and Radio 96.3 WJAA and its sponsors team up for a community fundraiser.
This year’s campaign is going above and beyond the normal efforts to raise money for the fight against cancer.
Tie-dye T-shirts featuring the 2022 slogan “Cool Bus for the Cure” and a likeness of the Cool Bus are being sold at several Jackson County businesses this month, including A Total Tan, Darlage Custom Meats, Baird Homes of Seymour, Vick’s Liquor Store, Skaggs Builders Inc., Reed’s Place Steak & Chop Shop, Soils Plus LLC, Winsupply of Seymour, Unleashed, Family Drug and Studio SPF.
In an effort to raise $6,000, which is their biggest fundraising goal to date, 96.3 FM is going to auction off a piece of history — the original 96.3 Cool Bus.
Becky Schepman, president of the radio station, said they acquired the new Cool Bus 2.0 in August and had a lot of questions from people about what they were going to do with the old one.
“I could see there was a huge interest in the Cool Bus,” Schepman said. “I knew every year, we did something to give back to the Schneck cancer center, and I thought it would be perfect timing to use the Cool Bus as part of the event.”
She said the Cool Bus is a 1985 model and has been used for the Summer of Fun and Bustock for years.
“When Robert Becker owned the station, he would do promotions for Bustock where they would park the bus and have people touch it and see who could keep their hands on it the longest to win money,” Schepman said. “They also did a promotion where Brent Holverson actually lived in the bus for a week during Bustock, so it is definitely iconic.”
She also said Jordan Richart rode in the bus from his wedding to his reception, and a lot of kids have been delivered to their school proms in it. There are so many cool stories and memories about the bus.
“The new bus was painted by local artist and tattoo artist Kyle McIntosh, and he used inspiration from the old Cool Bus and included the Rolling Stones, Grateful Dead and The Beatles,” Schepman said.
On his Facebook page, McIntosh said painting the new bus was a fun experience, and he was super surprised when WJAA asked him to paint the new Cool Bus 2.0.
He said the project came with a very short deadline but also with complete creative freedom. So in traditional hippie bus style, he hand painted it with nothing predrawn and completely out of his head.
Schepman said the old Cool Bus had several different paint schemes over the years and had kids from art classes paint it.
“It has lots of cool bumper stickers from concerts, too, and we are hoping next summer to invite our listeners to bring concert stickers to our Cool Bus stops so that we can add the same fun and originality to our new bus,” she said.
The auction will take place at 6 p.m. Oct. 29 at Harmony Park, 753 W. Second St., Seymour. Those interested in bidding on the Cool Bus should arrive by 5:50 p.m., get a number from the auctioneer and place their bid.
Also, there will be pizza, drinks and Cool Bus for the Cure tie-dye T-shirts available for purchase, These Fine Gentlemen and Jeff and Joe will be presenting live music and the Cool Bus will be onsite for viewing.
Schepman said it was a hard decision for them to get a new bus because of the nostalgia of the old Cool Bus.
“At Total Rock Radio 96.3, we are proud to stream at wjaa.net and have an app that allows us to be listened to everywhere,” she said. “We are proud to have businesses asking for onsite broadcasts and lunch deliveries in all areas around southern Indiana, so for the safety of our staff, we needed a more reliable and mechanically sound station vehicle.”
Schepman said they are thrilled to have a new bus that will take them all over southern Indiana, and they are so excited that one of their listeners will get to enjoy the old Cool Bus, which will enable the radio station to give back to the community.
All proceeds from T-shirt sales and the Cool Bus auction will go to the cancer center.
This is the 12th year for the radio station to give back to the cancer center.
“The Schneck cancer foundation fund provides money for their free clinical breast exam program, and we have continued to do this program, as everyone on our staff knows someone who has been affected by cancer,” Schepman said. “It is also our goal to continue to give back to our community, as that is one of the goals of Total Rock Radio 96.3.”
Some of the programs and services supported in the past through funds raised by 96.3 include free mammograms for underinsured and uninsured women, prostate screenings, cervical cancer screenings and colorectal screenings and also to purchase and upgrade necessary treatment equipment and construction of the cancer center facility.
Other ways people can donate to the cancer fund are by cash gifts, online donations and pledges over a multiyear basis.
2022 Cool Bus for the Cure sponsors
Don and Dana Myers Cancer Center; Home Helpers Home Care; Papa John’s Pizza; A Total Tan; Lust for Dust; Aisin USA Mfg. Inc.; Darlage Custom Meats; Stahl Insurance Group; Edward Jones Financial Advisor Patrick Baltus; Baird Homes of Seymour; Poplar Street Restaurant; Schneider Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning; Pet Supplies Plus; Vick’s Liquors; Skaggs Builders Inc.; Jackson County Recycling District; Lannett Co. Inc.; Reed’s Place Steak & Chop Shop; Soils Plus LLC; Winsupply of Seymour; Coomer’s Towing; Unleashed; Family Drug; Lowe’s Distribution Center North Vernon; Elwood Staffing; Stewart’s LP Gas; Luecke Audio Video Appliances; and Studio SPF.