Gala marks 40 years for KCEP Power 88
by Kimberly Bailey-Tureaud
On Oct. 7, KCEP Power 88 celebrated 40 years of serving the community with a gala at Sam’s Town Casino.
Highlighting the star-studded anniversary celebration were appearances by comedian George Wallace, soul music legends Gladys and Bubba Knight and BET gospel star Bobby Jones.
“KCEP 88.1 FM’s 40th Anniversary Gala electrified the community,” said Craig Knight, the station’s general manager. “It was a shot in the arm that the community needed. The gala was something that was never expected, and some of the 650 people who attended the gala said they felt like they were at the Grammys or the BET Awards”
Founded in 1972 by the nonprofit Economic Opportunity Board of Las Vegas, KCEP continues to serve as an indispensable training ground, providing radio broadcast training for those who desire to pursue careers in the field. Each summer, the Bob Bailey Summer Intern Program offers specialized broadcast training to high school students.
“The KCEP Power 88 40th Anniversary Gala took great pride in including the entire community in the celebration at Sam’s Town, and we also felt that it was important to honor pioneers of the radio station,” said Knight. “There were many people involved with the establishment of KCEP, but this time around we wanted to honor two: Rev. Marion Bennett, a longtime EOB Board member and community spiritual leader; and Dr. Bob Bailey, who was a pioneer in broadcasting and entertainment. We wanted them to have their flowers and celebrate with us.”
Knight said his celebrity relatives — his father, Bubba, and aunt, Gladys — and other A-list names were eager to lend their star power. “My family was elated to participate in the gala,” he said. “They have always been supporters of KCEP and the community at large. It was an honor for them to take part in the show, and meant more because it was for the people of the community.”
Thanks to sponsors and supporters, the sold-out gala enabled KCEP to generate much-needed revenue.
“We will continue the celebration every year, commemorating our anniversary… leading up to the 50th Gala. It appears that the 40th Anniversary Gala brought the station into a new technology age, and we will continue to be the nucleus of the community — committed to its beautification, and giving a platform for the voices of the people,” Craig Knight said.