PORTLAND — The sleeping on the floor was difficult, compounded by the fact it was only for a few hours a night.

Having to squeeze in a meal during a long song was no piece of cake, either. But DJ Mark Curdo said it’s clear what was the worst part of his 100-hour “Markathon” on WCYY.

“It was those sickening moments of listening to Justin Bieber,” he said.

Curdo wrapped up the Markathon at 6 p.m. Friday at Jimmy the Greek’s restaurant in South Portland, where the station announced it had raised $30,051.06 for the Center for Grieving Children. This year’s results meant that more than $100,000 has been raised for the center in the four years of the marathon broadcasts.

Curdo said he slept just three hours a night for the radiothon, which began Monday at noon. The programming was dictated by donors: make a pledge and WCYY would play your request.

“There was jazz, reggae, rap, heavy metal, country,” Curdo said. He favored Pink Floyd and Bruce Springsteen because when listeners requested them, it was usually a fairly long song.

“That allowed me to have a few bites to eat and heed mother nature’s call,” he said.

Anne Lynch, executive director of the Center for Grieving Children, said the Markathon is one of the group’s three big fundraisers of the year, along with an auction and a pet walk. She said the center operates on a shoestring budget of $750,000 a year, with no ongoing government financial support. In addition to the fundraising efforts, she said, the center also receives funds from the United Way and grants.

“We’re totally community-supported and every dollar counts,” she said.

Lynch noted that the center recently added support groups in Sanford to better help children in York County who lose a parent, sibling or other loved one. The organization also has a few programs for grieving adults as well, she said, because a grown-up’s ability to handle grief is often instrumental in helping a child do the same.

She noted that having the radiothon on a rock station has broadened awareness of the center among 18- to 30-year-olds, many of whom are unaware of the center and its work. In addition to donors, Lynch said, the radiothon also led to several people inquiring about volunteering for the center, and to a few people calling up to get help for a grieving child.

Lynch said she usually tries to stump Curdo by calling in with a request for an obscure song. Lynch, a native of Ireland, this year went with “Mistletoe and Wine” by Cliff Richard, who is well-known in Britain and Ireland but wasn’t as popular in the U.S. Curdo found and played the song, Lynch said.

Curdo said he feels an affinity for the center, but it’s because he hasn’t lost anyone close.

Staying on the air for more than four days straight, he said, “is my appreciation for how lucky I am.”

Staff Writer Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:

[email protected]