Passion for Public Radio Inspires Giving

Lynne Kennedy and Joan Darrah

Lynne Kennedy and Joan Darrah

WAMU presents Lynne Kennedy and Joan Darrah with a daily challenge:

“There are not enough hours in the day to listen to everything we like on WAMU,” says Lynne.

She and Joan took turns listing their favorite shows:
“We start with Morning Edition and the BBC and then we stay for 1A, Kojo Nnamdi, Terry Gross, Here and Now.

“We love WAMU’s local coverage, alerting us to what’s going on that we can go explore.”

“We get our business news from Marketplace.”

“We always learn something from On the Media and love Scott Simon on Saturdays.”

“Let’s see. What are we forgetting?”

Before the pandemic, the Alexandria couple’s days brimmed with interests and activities: gardening, walking, playing golf, tennis and sailing, which Joan teaches at a nearby marina. They would often head into D.C. for the theater, restaurants, museums and cultural events. They would volunteer with the National Park Service to greet visitors on the National Mall. Both are very active in their church. And both are devoted fans of WAMU—which they have more time for during the pandemic.

Lynne, who grew up in Long Island, NY, came to Washington, D.C., in 1970 for a job with the Library of Congress. She worked as a reference librarian with the Congressional Research Service until 2002, when she retired after a long and satisfying career.

Joan grew up in Massachusetts and served as an intelligence officer in the Navy, retiring as captain during an era of profound change. “I was in the Navy for 30 years,” she says. “Signed up for three and stayed for 30.”

Her long career of service included many milestones. She was among the first in the Navy’s Women at Sea program, and part of the fight to overturn the military’s controversial Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.

Joan moved to the Washington area in 2002. “Moving here was my introduction to public radio and WAMU,” Joan says. This introduction turned into enthusiasm thanks to Lynne’s long-time devotion to WAMU.

“Public radio is amazing,” says Lynne. “I find myself becoming completely engrossed in topics I’d never had any interest in before. Somehow the storytelling, the reporting, the voices—it’s just magical. You start listening and just have to hear the end of it.”

This shared enthusiasm made it a natural priority for them to name WAMU as a beneficiary of their life insurance policy—a popular way to leave a lasting legacy to a favorite organization.

“The station has been so important to us, and we think public radio is important to the world,” says Lynne. “So it’s crucial that listeners who depend on it give something today and, if they can, leave something in their estate. We want to help ensure a strong future for WAMU.”

You can join Lynne and Joan in supporting WAMU’s future with a gift in your estate plan. Contact Eliza Saunders at 202-885-8904 or to find the right option to meet your financial and charitable goals.