For as long as Charlie Evers has been on the Marion airwaves, just about everyone in town ought to know who he is. Nonetheless, with a career as long as his, there are tons of little known details that round out Evers’ outgoing personality.
Born in Bucyrus in 1934, Evers began his radio career as an amateur radio operator in 1949. Three years later, he joined Marion’s WMRN full time, launching a 65+ year career in professional broadcasting.
Evers’ first job with the local radio station was watching the station’s tent at the Crawford County Fair. Back at the station, his diligence earned him a job as a radio engineer, but he also did odd jobs such as night watchman and lawn mowing.
It was in 1968 that his on-air career took off and he became the air personality he is today. His love of talking to people has a long history, including hosting an early morning show with meteorologist Gil Gomez and years as a morning personality, interviewing guests on Morning Magazine, and talking to virtually anyone on the popular Tradio show.
The year 1969 was a big one for Evers. It was the year two traditions were started – the Peanut Push and Groundhog Day with Buckeye Chuck.
Evers was instrumental in starting the Peanut Push to raise funds for the Junior Service Guild’s Christmas Clearinghouse. It began when a listener challenged Evers to push a peanut across the street with his nose and became the WMRN Peanut Push – an annual event in downtown Marion where competitors vie to see who can push a peanut across Center Street the fastest — with their nose — on the first Saturday in December. Contestants gather sponsors for their efforts and the money raised helps provide toys, books, food, and clothing for local children. The Peanut Push contributes approximately $5,000 each year to Christmas Clearinghouse, which serves 800-1,000 Marion kids annually.
The legend that is now Buckeye Chuck grew from Evers’ interest in observing groundhogs that lived near the radio station. For years, he would daily check the groundhogs in the woods next to the station to see if they were indeed out for Groundhog’s Day. Gaining listener interest, a contest was held to name Marion’s groundhog and the winning name was Buckeye Chuck — “Buckeye” for Ohio and “Chuck” for “Chuck” Evers. Aided by former state representative Walter “Doc” McClaskey, Evers’ Buckeye Chuck was formally recognized by the State Legislature as Ohio’s official weather prognosticating groundhog in 1979. Giving the popular Punxsutawney Phil some serious competition, Buckeye Chuck’s weather predictions have, over the years, proven to be twice as accurate as the Pennsylvania groundhog.
Evers was appointed the station’s farm director in 1971, despite never having lived on a farm. The agriculture community and Evers hit it off after Evers mysteriously found a donkey tied to his truck. This began years of raising all kinds of animals and moving to Claridon to do so. He would go on to earn a state farmer’s degree, win the title of Ohio Pork Cookout King, spend 25 years as a 4-H advisor, and be named an honorary member of every FFA chapter in Marion County. In 1978, he headed the fundraising effort to replace the burned out livestock arena on the Marion County Fairgrounds. In recognition of the $80,000 he raised for the project, the building was named Evers Arena in his honor.
In 1980, Evers joined the former WDIF radio station and became a columnist for Newslife, a weekly newspaper, and editor of Outlook magazine, a publication for senior citizens. During his WDIF years Evers traveled around the country conducting tours with a travel agency affiliated with the station. The most memorable events during that time included two trips to the Panama Canal aboard military aircraft. An avid bicyclist, in 1983, he organized a bike tour to raise money for the American Cancer Society. The tour traveled from border to border, across Ohio, and continued for 13 years.
Evers’ radio career continues today. He is a talk show host on WWGH, a low-power Marion-based radio station begun in 2014. It can be heard at 107.1 FM and online. Marion’s own Radio Hall of Famer can be heard on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays with his “Fahey Bank Charlie Evers Show” and during the “Exchange Club” on Fridays, sharing the microphone with Scott Spears and Mary Ann Michaels.
Evers and his wife, Jeanne, still live in eastern Marion County. The couple has three adult daughters, Cathy, Angie and Amy. Evers will be among the 22 people, places, products, and programs to be honored during the Celebrate Marion Gala, presented in June by MarionMade! Christmas Clearinghouse will also be a 2019 honoree. Addition details are available online at www.marionmade.org.