WXRT/WSCR Death of Beloved LaShon Bilbro

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Posted by A Friend on March 09, 2010 at 06:45:31:

For 10 years, the heart & soul of WXRT was not one of their talented radio personalities, not one of their highly regarded managers or executives, and not any "big name" star. The heart & soul of WXRT was LaShon Bilbro.

This past week, LaShon Bilbro passed away. She was feeling ill and had difficulty breathing, so her doctor advised her to go to a hospital. She was not admitted into the Emergency Room or Intensive Care, but placed in a regular hospital bed with less supervision. LaShon was only 40 years old when she died.

The loss of this shining light has sent shockwaves throughout WXRT & WSCR employees past & present.

LaShon Bilbro was the very first face anybody would see upon entering WXRT (and for a few years WSCR) when it was located at 4949 W. Belmont Avenue. Most times, she was the voice you would hear on the other end of the phone when calling into the station. She was the smiling face people would be greeted by at the booth of many WXRT live events. She was the oil that made the gears of the radio station run. To call her a "receptionist" would be a disservice to her, since she was so much more to those offices and to the people who worked there.

All week long, a great many people have been telling stories about the many happy times their shared with & because of LaShon. On a Facebook page set up for WXRT employees past & present, numerous stories have been posted. They talk about LaShon's love for the "Drops of Jupiter" song by Train, how she put on a Hazmat suit to open up the station's mail after the 9/11 & anthrax scare in 2001, how she had no problem telling management how to run a radio station, how she could eat food with hot sauce at 7:00am, how when one XRT staffer went on the air on WSCR and said he didn't like women with tattoos... he was greeted the next day by a sleeveless LaShon (so he could clearly see the tattoo on her arm), how she would happily talk with spouses for 10 minutes before transferring the call to the employee. One person told me that LaShon often made hiring decision for the stations (unofficially). Since she was such a great judge of character and would get an instant feel for the person waiting in the lobby, her "expert" opinion would be consulted.

When CBS Radio moved WXRT from its longtime Belmont Avenue home to CityFront Plaza in downtown Chicago in 2008, there was no longer a position for LaShon. Nobody was happy about it, but nothing could be done about it, as budgets were being cut and it was too far for her to travel. She remained close to many WXRT & WSCR staffers.

She was especially close to one past WSCR employee: former Score Producer Eric Beverly. The two had a long relationship together and were eventually married. The two shared a daughter and were only a month away from having another baby. When LaShon Bilbro-Beverly passed away a few days ago, she also lost the baby, making this incredibly sad story even more sad. LaShon also leaves behind 5 other daughters from previous relationships. The baby that passed away with her would had been her first son.

A fund is set up for LaShon's children. The name of the fund is simply: LaShon Kids Fund. You can:

1. Go to any Chase Bank -- in Chicagoland or nationwide -- and fill out a deposit slip for Account #878938950. Cash is fine or checks made out to "LaShon Kids Fund" will work. You do NOT have to be a Chase account holder to do this. Anybody may contribute at any Chase Bank.

2. For those of you who work at WXRT or WSCR or just work downtown, checks made out to "LaShon Kids Fund" can be dropped off with either John Farneda (WXRT's Music Director) or Patty Reilly-Murphy (WXRT's Senior Account Manager) at the WXRT offices, located at 455 North CityFront Plaza -- 6th Floor in Chicago. As of March 16th, WXRT will be moving again and the new address will be 2 Prudential Plaza, Suite 1000, in Chicago.

3. Make a check out to "LaShon Kids Fund" and place "For Deposit Into Account #878938950" on the check (in the Memo section or on the back). Mail that check to:
LaShon Kids Fund
c/o Chase Bank - Lincoln Wellington Branch
2968 N. Lincoln Avenue
Chicago, IL 60657-4109

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