The sorry state of the oil-and-gas industry in the early 1980s and a good reputation as a deejay were two factors that brought the voice of Scott Donovan to the local airwaves.
And now Donovan’s talent behind the microphone and his numerous civic contributions factor into his selection as grand marshal of this year’s Home for the Holidays Parade.
Sunflower Diversified Services sponsors the annual parade, which is set for 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26. It will travel along Main Street from 19th to 12th; the theme is “A Star-Spangled Christmas.”
“Scott is a star of the airwaves and a stellar representative for many charitable and civic causes in Great Bend and surrounding communities,” said Sarah Krom, Sunflower community supports coordinator. “His unwavering enthusiasm has helped make the holidays a special memory for all who listen to his broadcasts.”
Donovan, a 1982 graduate of Great Bend High School, didn’t start out at a radio station but he did dabble in being a deejay.
“I worked for a petroleum geologist for about five years,” Donovan recalled. “When I thought about getting a degree in petroleum geology, he said it might be a good idea to find something else.”
This was at the time the oil-and-gas industry was in free-fall and prospects for the future didn’t look good, Donovan explained.
“At around the same time, the radio station had heard about me working as a deejay at Chapter II. They came to me and I started with the midnight to 6 a.m. shift.”
This was in 1983 at KHOK in Hoisington, which later moved to Great Bend. Today, Donovan is the morning guy from 6-10 on 100.7 Eagle Country KHOK, an employee-owned Eagle Communications Station, which encourages its associates to serve their communities. He is director of sales, as well as program and music director.
Many area residents count on Donovan’s familiar voice and have come to recognize him because of his countless appearances during live radio remotes and as emcee for community functions.
“It is an honor for me to serve this community, which has been good to me,” he said. “It is an honor when people tell me they enjoy hearing me on the radio and seeing me at events.
“If you want to get things done, get involved. Service to my community is a big part of all this. And I have a very understanding family,” Donovan laughed.
He and his wife, Mary, have two daughters – Michala 19, and Emma, 15.
If anyone wonders where Donovan’s Energizer Bunny spirit comes from, he will point directly to the Boy Scouts. “It all goes back to that,” Donovan commented. “I was very active as a Scout and was a national representative for 13 Midwestern states. There was a two-year span when I was gone almost every weekend for speaking engagements.”
Donovan had to rely on his inner drive and positive attitude in 2008 when he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and melanoma.
“This was a true awakening of how life can change in a moment’s notice. It was a true wake-up call. For once in my life I could understand what other people were going through.”
Donovan’s treatments were successful and today he is cancer free.
One of Donovan’s long-time commitments has been to Sunflower Diversified Services; he has served on the non-profit agency’s board of directors for 15 years.
“I have emceed the holiday parade over the years and it will be fun to be a part of it in a new way this year,” Donovan said. “It is an incredible organization that works hard every day on behalf of children and adults with developmental disabilities and delays.
“Sunflower also supports the community in general through its many annual fundraisers. But it not only raises money for itself, it also supports and raises funds for other local worthy causes.”
In addition to the holiday parade, Sunflower sponsors the Chili Cook-off, Chris Cakes pancake feed and the Charity Gala. It also recruits sponsors for the Fourth of July fireworks show.
Donovan devotes time to: Central Kansas CASA; Prince of Peace Parish; Knights of Columbus; Optimist Club; Job Fest; Great Bend High School Site Council; and the Kansas Association of Broadcasters.
He received the 2008 Great Bend Greater Award from the Great Bend Kiwanis Club, and his family was recognized as the Dodge City Diocese Knights of Columbus “Family of the Year” in 2006.