For a week, local television stations have been advertising the antics of 97 Rock’s DJ, known as The Jixter, and his promotion to collect food for Rock Out Hunger.
Many people don’t realize The Jixter is none other than Alexander native Dave Gick, son of Bill and Audrey Gick, of Alexander.
Gick, who prefers to be called “The Jixter,” got his first broadcasting job at WCJW Radio in Warsaw after graduating from Alexander High School.
He went to work at 97 Rock (WGRF-FM) in 2005, and every year since he has spent a week at Thanksgiving living 24/7 in a tractor-trailer parked in the Buffalo area to accept donations of nonperishable food items and turkeys.
This year the donation truck is at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital on Maple Avenue in Buffalo. The Jixter will be there until 10 a.m. Tuesday to accept your gifts of food for our neighbors in the region who need it.
“When I first started at 97 Rock, they asked for a young and single guy to volunteer,” The Jixter said. “They asked me if I’d be willing to live in a truck for a week.”
He has done that every year since, he said. He sleeps in a recliner and only takes a break to change his clothes and brush his teeth in a motorhome supplied by the Upstate Auto Group of Attica.
“Upstate Auto has supported everything I’ve done since I started broadcasting,” The Jixter said.
He has a heated recliner, which someone donated for him to sleep in this year, although he said it is questionable how much sleep he gets. If people show up in the middle of the night with a donation, he accepts it. Sometimes he wakes up and there will be a box of food on the steps.
During the past 14 years The Jixter has done this, they have collected $260,000, 245,000 pounds of food and 31,000 turkeys. Last year they collected more than $37,000, and 32,557 pounds of food and 2,400 turkeys. As of Saturday afternoon, they 844 turkeys.
The donated food will be distributed by FeedMoreWNY, a group formed by the merger of the Food Bank of Western New York and Meals on Wheels of Western New York. In 2019, FeedMoreWNY provide 12 million meals through various programs, and as of September they had already surpassed that number.
The Jixter said there are people in need every year, and this year especially is expected to be greater.
Rock Out Hunger is sponsored by 97 Rock, Kaleida Health and WKBW 7 Eyewitness News.
The Jixter said a lot of his friends from the Genesee County area have come up to see him and he welcomes everyone.
Saturday, he and a dozen volunteers were busy nonstop accepting donations from people who could drive up in their car and open their trunk for a volunteer to take their donation. The Jixter said volunteers sign up with FeedMoreNY, and they come every year.