Hartline: '... There's no place like home'

By LARRY C. BOWERS
Posted 2/2/18

Cleveland radio personality Steve Hartline was the guest speaker at Thursday's Kiwanis Club luncheon at the downtown Elks Lodge.Hartline, the owner and manager of Radio Station WCLE, traded quips …

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Hartline: '... There's no place like home'

Posted

Cleveland radio personality Steve Hartline was the guest speaker at Thursday's Kiwanis Club luncheon at the downtown Elks Lodge.

Hartline, the owner and manager of Radio Station WCLE, traded quips with program chairman Mike Thomason and Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson, and praised the Kiwanis Club and its members.

"I love the Cleveland Kiwanis Club, and all you do for children," he said in acknowledging the club's mission statement to help children around the world. "When you help children, you touch the face of God," said Hartline.

Before Hartline's talk, Kay Smith thanked her fellow club members for volunteering to judge the annual 4-H Club public speaking competition last week. Kiwanians do this each year, and they will also judge the county finals in March. 

In other projects, Kiwanis members raised funds for winter coats, and/or outfits, for almost 100 Head Start students this past holiday season; they work closely with the Walker Valley and Cleveland high school Key Clubs, and Cleveland Middle School students; partner with Cleveland State Community College for Dr. Seuss Day; and assist with the Empty Stocking Fund where WCLE, Hartline, and founders Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland and his wife, Sandra, raised $100,000 during the 2017 holiday season.

Kiwanis members also assist with a number of other organizations in the community that focus on children, and they provide student scholarships each year.

With the quips from Thomason and Watson, Hartline said, "I feel like I'm being roasted everywhere I go."

He discussed a recent Bradley Central/Cleveland basketball game, where he and other community leaders competed in a basketball-shooting contest.

"All my ability comes from Lee University's Larry Carpenter," he said of the Lee athletic director and Kiwanis member.  He added that he did not come close to winning the shootout, but emphasized  $2,500 was raised for breast cancer awareness.

"I went out there in basketball attire, and I stunk it up!" Hartline admitted.

He went on to say the event and others involving Kiwanis Club members, demonstrate a concentrated view of the  Cleveland community.

"I've lived in California, and visited many other places, and there's no place like home," he said of Cleveland. "At WCLE, we get to cover all this, and we're there to amplify the results."

Hartline said he has been with the radio station for 34 years, beginning as a teenager. "It was not something I planned, and I never thought I'd own something. But, the Lord intervened," Hartline said.

The station manager said WCLE attempts to serve the community, and shine a light on local happenings. He expressed extreme pride on the growth of the Empty Stock Fund, and the money raised this year — for children. He also praised the community's education environment.

"What we've seen," he continued, "Is that when you're informing people you have to meet them where they are, and be relative." He said they are also trying to evolve into social media, something people want today.

"It's all about the community you're in, and the community you serve," Hartline added. "This is a heavy responsibility, but the main thing is to be fair. "

He added that with today's technology, "Everybody is a reporter. At WCLE, we try to have fun, and we try to give people a smile!"

In closing, Hartline said this is a great time to be (live) in Cleveland. "Still, most of us take this for granted," he said. "I'm grateful to be here."

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