Radiothon brings stories of hope and inspiration to the radio waves

The twelfth annual Caring For Kids Radiothon for the Alberta Children’s Hospital brought hope, and some tears to the radio waves from Feb. 4-6.

The Radiothon, hosted by Country 105, was broadcast directly from the hospital over the three days.

“Radiothon give us the chance to let kids, families, and incredible child health specialists share their personal stories of hope, help, and healing with the community,” said Billie Lamb, VP of communications for the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Families come from all over western Canada to access the facilities and doctors at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, which is why fundraisers such as this one are important.

“I always knew it was important, but I didn’t realize how important it was until we had to bring our four-year-old son to the Alberta Children’s Hospital for eye surgery,” said Laura Harms, whose family lives in Saskatoon.

Radiothon has gained more supporters over the years, and this year local news has taken notice.

“Global Calgary has come on board with PSAs as well as live cut-ins for two of the three days,” said Justine Clay, director of communications for the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation.

“This was essential in order to reach more Calgarians and expand the listening audience for the three days of Radiothon.”

Fund-raisers such as these help provide care to the 87,000 children that visit the hospital annually.

There are also a lot of volunteers needed to make sure that the event runs smoothly.

“It takes 300 volunteers to put on the three days of Radiothon, and that’s not even including the 70–80 families and hospital staff who volunteer to share their stories,” Clay said.

The Alberta Children’s Hospital is one of the newest children’s hospitals in the country and for patients, it is not intimidating as other hospitals may be.

I always knew it was important, but I didn’t realize how important it was until we had to bring our four-year-old son to the Alberta Children’s Hospital for eye surgery. -Laura Harms

“Even at four years old, my son could tell the difference, even in just the light and the bright colours.  His attitude towards being in the hospital was totally different than what’s been our experience in Saskatoon,” said Harms.

Radiothon has changed over the years, but the goal of supporting the care that hospital provides is still the same.

“Twelve years ago, we would talk to kids and their parents and there seemed to be more sad stories and cases with unhappy endings,” said Roger Rhodes of Country 105, the radio station that founded Radiothon.

“Twelve years later, we still have some sad stories, but because of generous donors that we call Miracle Makers, there are fewer unhappy endings and more stories of hope and healing.”

For more information on Radiothon, and how to donate to the Alberta Children’s hospital, visit their website.

About Kelsey Ferrill 5 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Kelsey Ferrill is working as a reporter for The Press during the 2014-2015 academic year.

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