Story by Lourice Angie
Everyone was invited to the front of WTBQ Radio Station, located at 179 Sanfordville Rd. in Warwick, on Mon., Jul. 1 to help celebrate the station’s momentous 50th Anniversary. The event also marked 25 years that WTBQ has been under the incredible tutelage of Frank Truatt.
The radio station was packed with people on the morning of the celebration. Guests included local and elected state officials, local businesses, organizations and friends of the WTBQ family. Truatt was congratulated and recognized for a successful 25 years with WTBQ and received a number of certificates, plaques and gifts. Many local officials commended Truatt and spoke kind words of his work within the community.
“WTBQ is a community radio station that broadcasts live local calling talk shows and songs from every decade and genre in both Orange and Sullivan Counties, with a focus on important news and issues of the Warwick Valley,” said Warwick Mayor Michael Newhard.
Warwick historian Dr. Richard Hull stopped in to share some of the early history of WTBQ and celebrate the station’s half-of-a-century anniversary.
“What a great day and such a wonderful turnout. Frank has made history here in Warwick,” said Dr. Hull.
Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus made a special appearance despite having just arrived back to the U.S. from being deployed overseas on active duty orders with the Navy since November. Neuhaus shared a few stories and laughs with Truatt and WTBQ station manager Taylor Sterling live on the air.
Through his unparalleled work in broadcasting, Truatt has created the number-one community radio station with a number-one morning drive show in New York. Frank has helped support countless local and non-profit organizations. By providing them an opportunity to embrace the community airwaves, many have obtained critical resources and the recognition needed to thrive.
“I just want to thank Frank for helping Monroe get back on track, it’s been a countywide process and we appreciate it,” said Anthony Cardone, Town Supervisor of Monroe.
Frank Truatt took a moment to share a few words with the large supportive crowd.
“25 years went by in a flash, a lot of things have changed and a lot of things remain the same, but my love of radio is what this was all about. It was just a whim in the beginning. I said, ‘Do you think we can make this happen, a small little AM radio station?’ and then we made it bigger and then added the FM, but it’s all because of all of you guys. Without all of you the station would not be what it is. WGHT in Pompton Lakes is the next challenge. What we did here, we’re also starting down there. So hopefully another 25 years, guys! Stay with me and thanks for all that you do.”
Station Manager Taylor Sterling, gave a shout out to all of the organizations and everyone in attendance including the station’s longest sponsor for 25 years, Leo Kaytes Ford.
“I can’t thank you all for taking time to come out to congratulate Frank, I don’t think anyone really knows what he does here, but it’s nothing short of miraculous because he is a musical genius. He works so hard. He worked seven days this week and I can’t tell you what it means to him to make quality of something that doesn’t exist anymore and it has a lot to do with our show hosts too,” said Sterling.
Guests had the opportunity to be heard live on the air, be a part of a historic group photo and enjoy the perfect weather with a complimentary ice cream by Tuxedo Creamery, who offered a delicious variety of homemade ice cream flavors, waffle cones and toppings from their mobile truck.
For more information on the WTBQ Radio Station call 651-1110 or visit their website at www.wtbq.com.