Team Velvet, Inc.'s Charlie Harrison Memorial

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Charlie Harrison emcees a fundraising event for Team Velvet, Inc.

This song written and sung by Charlie Harrison entitled Did I Ever.  Accompanying Charlie on this recording are three of his fellow show-hosts playing guitar, bass, and percussion.  The song was performed LIVE on the air during Charlie's show. 

Charlie composed this song while a young soldier in the Air Force, sitting in his barracks one evening and wondering how many of his fellow air-men have told their wives how much they are loved.  Hence the title, Did I Ever.

Charlie Harrison & The Wednesday Boys-Di

All relationships have a beginning. Team Velvet Inc. met WDVR several years ago when we received a grant that allowed us to move our program to a farm in Hunterdon County. I met

Frank Napurano and Jethro at a diner where they were having breakfast. We visited and after I explained that ours was an all-volunteer organization supported by grants and donations, Frank explained the similarity to WDVR.

 

“We are about 20 years ahead of you,” Frank said. “Founding this station was one of the most difficult things I have ever done in my life and one of the most important — one of which I am the proudest. Along the way, there were many people who helped us because I couldn’t have done it alone. If we can help in any way, let me know.”

 

The rest is history. Over the next several years we met many amazing people affiliated with the station and have been honored by their friendships. One of those was Charlie Harrison. Described on the air as “America’s Grandfather,” I recall thinking, “Wow, that’s a big family.” After hearing Charlie on the air, I realized it was not surprising because he had such a big heart.

Charlie was a ‘magic grandfather’…conveying love for kids, wisdom about life, honest feelings, and a sense of humor that gave us a smile in our pocket on a rainy day.

 

Charlie served as the Master of Ceremonies of three of our fundraisers and was awarded three different honors by our group. We always valued Charlie’s love for children, genuine kindness, and the way he made the world a better place, just by being in it. He touched many people with his humor, humility, and faith.

 

We are honored to include this permanent memorial on our website in appreciation of Charlie and his legacy of love. For each written tribute that appears here, there are hundreds more that are felt but not put into words. You inspired us and touched our hearts, Charlie, and we will remember you.

 

Susan Edwards, Ph.D.

President of the Board, Team Velvet Inc.

 

In memory of our beloved music host Charlie Harrison, who had great affection for your work with children. He would be so pleased that we and others support your therapy work in his name.                     

Carla Van Dyk, Station Manager

On behalf of our Board of Trustees

Tributes

 

I am truly blessed to have had the opportunity to get to know Charlie.  For sure, the salt of the earth and an abundance of humility.  While he will be missed, we can take pleasure that he positively influenced so many people, especially his devoted listeners.

Bob Cull, Trustee WDVR FM

 

I had the privilege and delight of knowing Charlie since he first came to WDVR many years ago and knew then he was one special guy. Charlie was always his good-natured self both on and off the mic. He couldn't believe he was actually given a radio show and got to talk to endless numbers of listeners who fell in love with his shows. It wasn't about the music.

 

It was about how Charlie made people feel during those three hours. He sent a wave of warmth through that microphone and over the air into the listener. He reminded many of family with his stories, laugh, and caring words. He was just the kind of company many hungered for especially on a Saturday morning. We were so blessed to have had this kind-hearted man part of WDVR and will miss him.

Carla VanDyk, WDVR Station Manager

 

Charlie and Susan Rose are no longer at WDVR...they're doing their shows from heaven. All the best to Charlie's family from Susan's husband Santa Rick.

Rick Reilly

Charlie always gave above the norm in helping others. That is always something to honor as it adds to the Greater Good.

 

Doug Gross, Ph.D.

Founding and Current Board Member, Team Velvet Inc.

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The ability to inspire others is rare. Charlie Harrison inspired people across the WDVR airwaves which spanned the globe. He did it with his sincerity, sense of humor, and humility. The Board and staff of Team Velvet honor him and will remember him always.

Tom Ferguson, PhD,MBA

Vice President, Board of Directors, Team Velvet Inc.

 

The first time I heard Charlie on the radio I stopped in my tracks.

"This is a special person." I thought, "...sincere, caring and humble. He cares about kids the same way we do. I wonder if he would be Master of Ceremonies at our upcoming Team Velvet fundraiser?"

 

Well, he was. That was the beginning of a long and special relationship of caring for children. Charlie often commented to me how amazed he was watching the kids at our fundraisers interacting with our three therapy horses. He saw the depth of their love. Later he told me how as a child the death of his beloved grandfather affected his life.

Charlie was always trying to help our charity, motivated by his love of children, his understanding of loss, and what he remembered as the impact of the death of his grandfather.

 

Our thoughts and prayers are with his beloved wife Janice and brother Fred. 

Charlie was an inspiration to many of us. He had strong abiding faith. He was an angel friend.

 

Susan Edwards, Ph.D.

Psychologist/Director

Team Velvet Inc.

Charlie Harrison was a multi-talented individual with a sincere love for children. He had a big heart and helped us help others through our charity. We will always remember Charlie's kindness, charisma, and caring. Our thoughts are with his family. He was a special person.

Dr. Kathy Piparo, Ph.D.

Team Velvet, Inc. Board Secretary

Our donation was in memory of Charlie Harrison. What a remarkable & warm man! I had only been listening to Charlie on Radio Ranch at WDVR for about a year but I came to love him and look forward to his show each Saturday. It was a bright spot each week during the dark days of COVID. I loved his stories, recipes, the way he loved and remembered his listeners, but especially his laugh. I was so looking forward to getting to meet him one day. He will always be remembered fondly and hold a special place in my heart. And as Charlie would say, "You better believe it!."

Lori Dwarnick

 

I was listening to WDVR on Saturday and was so sorry to hear Charlie died. He was a wonderful man who always made Team Velvet fundraisers fun. He will be missed! Our thoughts are with his family.

Andrea Hansen

Artist, Stone Wall Mason, and Team Velvet volunteer

 

Charlie Harrison was a blessing to many people who never once met him in person, but who believed to the depths of their beings that they KNEW him. My husband Sarge and I are among those people. We looked forward every week to "The Saturday Frolics" on WDVR. The capstone of those revels was Charlie's cheery, ever-lively Radio Ranch, gallantly wrangled every week by a capable roster of ranch hands who kept Charlie's microphone on, and the dead air to a minimum. It was inspiring to hear a hymn before a voice.

 

We admired Charlie for talking about his faith in God. We were right with him when he wept quietly over a person or a song. Team Velvet and its mission were among the things that were most important to him. "You'd better believe it," as Charlie would say.

Charlie was a radio personality for many years before we became listeners, but the first time I e-mailed a request he entered Sarge and me into his memory bank. He kept his people in his head because he couldn't see a piece of paper. He remembered our names, our favorite songs, where we lived, where we grew up, and other odd details of his listeners' lives. I don't know how he did it. There were so many. We had the sense that Charlie liked hearing from us, and he never once missed mentioning us on the air. That's charm. That's charisma, and Charlie had lots of both.

 

We once told him he was a national treasure. He robustly denied it, but he never forgot. We loved him more than I ever thought possible to love someone I'd never met.

Ellen Fletcher Russell; Frenchtown NJ;

and a constant listener to WDVR

 

Team Velvet, Inc. is indeed a team effort and Charlie Harrison was a very valued player.

Lillian Shupe

Team Velvet Board Member and Media Specialist

Charlie was one of a kind. A gentle soul, full of life. His voice led you to smile and his music had a purpose.

He had a love for helping people and loved Team Velvet. He will be truly missed. Rest In Peace, Dear Friend.

 

Cheryl Swanson, RN

Former Board Member, Team Velvet Inc.

Charlie believed in love. He had love of God and started his show with a hymn.

He had love of country and had served in the Air Force and believed in America. He had much love for Janice whom he first met in school. He loved kids and told stories and played songs about how special children are. And he had love for people and shared his feelings of compassion for sad as well as happy experiences.

Charlie inspired me to try to be a better person. I will miss him but I take his memory with me wherever I go.

 

A longtime listener