Breakfast Club Host
Colorado Freedom Memorial President
"When I was a kid if someone worked at a job 20-years they got a gold watch and a retirement party!!”, says Rick Crandall in discussing his special anniversary in 2011. "If it’s all the same I’d like to stick around a little longer because we’ve got lots left to do, and Diane doesn’t want me home yet!” June 17, 1991 was the very first day for the Breakfast Club at KEZW and Rick and the station have accomplished so much together over the years.
Sure, 20 years later, Rick is still starting the day with his KEZW listeners at the Breakfast Club weekday mornings at 6 am, but what first began as little more than a few songs and an occasional guest has grown into one of the most listened to Adult Standards morning shows in America. "Mornings at the Breakfast Club are like friends sitting together for a cup of coffee," says Rick. "We make sure to cover the important bases of the day with news, weather and traffic, but we also make a point each day of offering some wisdom for better living, honor our service men and women past and present and share a laugh or two. I’m mindful that for some of our listeners we’re the only company they have in the morning and no one wants to wake up with a grouch!!”
Rick also believes we all have an obligation to serve our community and that caring has led to Rick raising over $2 million dollars in cash and in-kind donations for Volunteers of America's Meals On Wheels program, the American Red Cross, Friends of Nursing, The Colorado Freedom Memorial Foundation, Invisible Disabilities Advocates, Bessie’s Hope, Veterans Service Organizations and many other Denver-area charities. In fact, Rick has received numerous honors for his work, including the first Colorado Broadcasters Association Harry Hoth Award for Public Service, the highest civic award the CBA gives. During Rick’s 20 years at KEZW, the station has received the National Association of Broadcasters Marconi Award for Adult Standards station of the Year and Rick was also one of five finalists for the Marconi Award as Personality Of The Year.
Over the last 20 years at KEZW, Rick has taken a leadership role with Colorado's large military veterans community. Rick has been the emcee for Denver's annual Memorial Day and Veterans Day parades the last 15 years. He also serves as emcee for the Colorado Military Ball, the Remember The Brave ceremony and the annual Gold Star weekend in Estes Park. At KEZW, Rick has sponsored Valentines for Veterans drives for the Denver VA Hospital and leads the Operation Christmas Joy toy drive each Christmas to collect gifts for family members of the Colorado National Guard whose loved ones are deployed over the holiday season. He also started the now largest Veterans Day event in Denver, the Veterans Salute, along with the staff at the Aurora Center for Active Adults.
And perhaps the highlights of Rick’s radio career have been his live broadcasts from the American Cemetery at Omaha Beach in Normandy, France and from the surrender deck aboard the USS Missouri in Pearl Harbor to mark the 60th anniversary of the attack at Pearl Harbor. Rick champions many Veterans issues and is currently working to build the Colorado Freedom Memorial, a monument dedicated to all Coloradoans killed or missing in military action. For his efforts Rick has received the American Legion media award six times, the Veterans Of Foreign Wars Citizen of the year award and has been given honorary membership in the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, 1st Marine Division Association and the Military Officers of America Association. Rick has also been honored by Regis University with its highest award, the Civis Princeps Award for his work with Colorado's seniors and military and received the 2006 Spirit of Colorado Voice of Volunteerism Award presented by Lt. Governor Jane Norton.