When Jennifer Kring decided to voice her complaints about a new morning radio show in Somerset, she didn’t expect things to go beyond a phone call.
But the first day she dialed in to K-93 Power Country’s “The Bobby Bones Show,” based out of Nashville, she was placed on the air with Bobby Bones himself and his crew, made up of cohosts Amy and Lunchbox and producers Eddie and Alayna.
Kring told them what she didn’t like about the new show, which had replaced Rod Zimmerman’s morning slot. Zimmerman, a local and long-time radio host, was moved to an afternoon slot.
“I told them it wasn’t local anymore, and I didn’t think the content was good for children,” she said.
Kring’s husband, Rodney Kring, also said the national show had no local connections, such as updates on developing stories or local news briefs.
What followed was a deal from Bobby Bones: Jennifer Kring would listen to the new show for a week, and if she still didn’t like it, Bobby Bones himself would deliver $50 to her.
Kring took him up on his offer, and listened to the show for a week. Nothing changed.
“I think he seems like a really nice guy, but I just didn’t like the show,” said Kring.
But in the back of Kring’s head, an idea had developed.
The community has been following Jaden Jasper’s progress as she recovers from a horrific car crash, which took place on March 5. Jaden’s family has remained by her side as she heals in Lexington. They’ve also been soliciting donations to pay for Jaden’s medical care.
“I knew exactly what I was going to do with the money,” said Kring. “If he (Bobby Bones) held up his deal, I knew what I was going to do.”
Bobby Bones did just that. The radio host took to the road on Friday and made the trip to Somerset, along with Amy, Eddie, Lunchbox and another crew member named Ray.
A number of community members turned out for the meeting, which took place at Sonic, thanks to Bobby Bones’ offer to pay personally for ice cream for everyone who showed up — although the ice cream was eventually offered on the house by Sonic’s general manager.
Zimmerman, the radio host who was moved to the afternoon time slot, was on hand to welcome Bobby Bones and his crew to Somerset. And he was ready with a matching $50 donation to go toward the “Prayers for Jaden” cause.
“This was never about money,” said Zimmerman. “(Kring) always intended to give the money to charity.”
What followed after the hand-off came a face-to-face meeting between the newest radio crew and a community that has had a hard time adjusting to the change.
“It goes so far in a community when they get to shake a hand and talk to someone face-to-face,” said Zimmerman.
And Jaden’s aunt and uncle, Karen and Doug Miller, were even able to stop by on their way back up to Lexington to gratefully accept the $100.
“Jaden is doing really well,” said Karen Miller.
The 12-year-old Northern Middle School student had suffered severe injuries in the car crash, including a depressed skull fracture, a broken eye socket, and a broken cheekbone. Doctors warned her family she may never be the same again. But last Friday, on March 15, they were surprised to find, during reconstructive surgery, that Jaden hadn’t sustained significant brain injury in the accident. They said she would eventually be just fine.
“I thought it was bad two and a half weeks ago, but it’s been such a blessing overall,” said Doug Miller, about Jaden’s miraculous recovery.
Karen Miller said Jaden ate solid food — scrambled eggs — for the first time Friday. She said the young girl has walked on her own, and, although she can’t yet speak due to the ventilator she’d had in for several days, she can communicate via a white board.
“When I first gave her that board, I was afraid,” said Karen Miller. “She has such beautiful cursive writing, and I didn’t know if she’d be able to write like that again ... but she wrote ‘Look at me.’
“And when I saw that beautiful ‘L,’ I knew she’s going to be okay,” added Karen Miller.
Jaden was supposed to be able to see her “Prayers for Jaden” Facebook page for the first time on Friday evening, thanks to an iPad.
“This has pulled the community together,” said Karen Miller. “You want to see it keep going.”
Jaden’s family has been told that, if her progress continues, she may be moved next week to Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Center.
“She’s dynamite,” said Karen Miller. “She’s one of the strongest people I know.”
And all involved are just glad a negative situation evolved into something to benefit Jaden and her family.
“This has been all about the community,” said Rodney Kring.
K-93 Power Country is owned by Clear Channel Radio.