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Radio broadcaster's donation sparks IAM Stimulus Check Challenge

Elizabeth Willson Moss accepts a $2,000 check from Dolph Diamond, a Christian radio station manager. The check sparked IAM's Stimulus Check Challenge. Elizabeth Willson Moss accepts a $2,000 check from Dolph Diamond, a Christian radio station manager. The check sparked IAM's Stimulus Check Challenge.

Dolph Diamond woke up one night this week with an idea.

"I said, 'You know, we need to help these people that are out there needing help and I'm going to give my stimulus check to the Interfaith.' So that's when I called you," he said, turning to Interfaith Assistance Ministry Executive Director Elizabeth Willson Moss.

Diamond's generosity may stimulate a much broader fundraiser. Diamond hopes another 498 people will join him, raising a half million dollars for the food pantry and crisis services agency at a time when its help is needed more than ever. He will boost the effort in his day job, as station manager and broadcaster at WFHC-FM-106.5 in Hendersonville (104.7 in Asheville). He kickstarted the challenge with a $2,000 donation — his stimulus check plus $1,000 from the station.

Moss said last week a family that lost its home to the windstorm was among the clients. This week, a couple drove up to make a donation. They had both just been laid off, thanks to the economic shutdown of the coronavirus, but wanted to donate a box of food and $50. The need has risen 80 percent because of coronavirus-related job losses and other economic disruptions, Moss said.

Without even knowing about the stimulus challenge, Horizon Heating & Air owner Dan Poeta pulled up at the agency earlier Wednesday to donate $10,000. He said he'd be happy to direct his check to the $500,000 stimulus check goal. Earlier this week, IAM received a $10,000 donation from the Robinson-Hill Humanitarium Fund, the charity of Flat Rock residents Brian Robinson and Brendan Hill. They, too, were glad to include their donation to the stimulus check challenge.

"We have seen so many acts of kindness during the Covid-19 pandemic," Moss said. "Dolph's idea that others would want to help out was quickly confirmed by an IAM volunteer who wrote us a check from his stimulus check."

Covid-19 related grants to IAM include $10,000 from the WNC Community Foundation, $10,000 from the Covid-19 Response Fund of the Community Foundation of Henderson County and United Way of Henderson County, $10,000 from WNC Bridge and $3,000 from the Duke Energy Foundation.

"IAM is extremely grateful to all of our donors and grant funders," Moss said. "These contributions are helping us continue to serve the growing need for assistance with food, rent, personal hygiene items, prescriptions and more."

To donate, drop checks off at the agency, 310 Freeman St., 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, send to IAM, P.O. Box 2562, Hendersonville, N.C. 28793 or click here.