MOULTRIE -- A new Moultrie radio station plans to make a big splash today by raising money for the victims of the Dec. 26 tsunami.

WHBS -- AM 1400 -- started operations in October, but really got "up and running" in December, according to Sandra Barnes, co-host of the station's morning show. It features black urban gospel music, 24 hours a day.

"It's Moultrie's best-kept secret -- for now," Barnes said.

Starting at 7 a.m. today, WHBS will sponsor a radiothon at its station, 1643 South Blvd. Money raised will go to the American Red Cross, which will have representatives at the event off-and-on throughout the day. Local dignitaries have been invited to take part too, Barnes said, and snacks will be provided.

On Dec. 26, an earthquake in the Indian Ocean caused a tsunami -- also called a tidal wave -- that killed more than 150,000 people and left hundreds of thousands homeless in 11 nations. Relief efforts have poured in from around the world.

The American Red Cross has set a goal of raising $400 million, according to local Red Cross Director Helen Sewell. That money will address both immediate needs like clean drinking water and long-term needs like rebuilding houses, Sewell said. So far, the American Red Cross has collected $165 million toward its goal, she said.

The response locally has been good as well, she said.

"People just want to help," she said. "This is such a good community and people just want to help here."

For more information about WHBS or the radiothon, call Barnes or station manager Ron Sailor at 890-2900. For more information about the American Red Cross and its relief efforts, call Sewell at 985-6924.

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