February 1, 2008
Newsman Dan Rea ('74) raises money for the troops
While journalist and radio host Dan Rea usually serves the masses with his award winning reporting, a recent donation drive hosted by his radio station for troops in the Middle East gained overwhelming response from the community.
The drive, sponsored by Rea’s WBZ news radio station and Boy Scout Troop 45 of Cambridge, gathered over 1,000 pounds in toiletry supplies for the troops in ten days. WBZ listeners from all over the country made donations totaling approximately $3,000.
When the Boy Scout troop raised $1,500, its members decided to fund a community service project aiding soldiers in Iraq. The boys received permission to place cardboard boxes at 33 polling sites around Cambridge, hoping to collect toiletries for U.S. troops abroad. However, the day of the city elections, the boys were informed that their drive was canceled, allegedly because some residents believed it sent a pro-war message.
“Cambridge is the land of the politically correct, and this was one time where political correctness went way over the top. The program didn’t have a hidden message to support the war,” said Rea. Feeling empathetic for the boys of Troop 45, Rea invited them to leave their collection boxes at WBZ studios. Following this move, Cambridge city council passed a resolution allowing the scouts to leave boxes in city buildings such as fire stations and city hall.
Rea has a long history of excellence in community service. Over the course of his 32 years at WBZ, Rea has won two Emmys and has been nominated for nine, and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Pike Institute on Law and Disability at BU Law. In 1988, he was the recipient of the School’s Silver Shingle award—the highest alumni honor bestowed by BU Law—for Outstanding Public Service.
His investigative reporting on the Joe Salvati case earned Rea the Massachusetts Bar Association’s First Annual Excellence in Journalism Award. Another BU Law alumnus earned notoriety for success on the same case. Victor Garo ('65) served as Salvati’s lead attorney pro bono, resulting in Salvati’s release after more than 30 years of wrongful imprisonment because of an FBI cover-up.
Rea currently hosts a talk show on Boston’s WBZ radio, called “NightSide with Dan Rea.” The show airs weeknights from 8pm-midnight and can be accessed at any time at WBZ Newsradio 1030.com.