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The Daily Tar Heel

1st Radiothon Raises Almost $200,000 for Hospital

Listeners gave to N.C. Children's Hospital.

N.C. Children's Promise: $20 for 20 Hours raised preliminary figures of $183,216 in donations from radio listeners across the state and $7,500 in the lobby of the hospital during the 20-hour radiothon for the N.C. Children's Hospital.

The radiothon began at 5 a.m. Wednesday and ended at 1 a.m. Thursday.

During that time, listeners could call into their local radio stations and donate $20 or more for the 20 hours the radiothon was taking place.

Tom Hughes, spokesman for UNC Hospitals, said everyone involved was satisfied with results of the event.

"We really didn't know what to expect because we didn't have a goal," Hughes said.

"I think everyone is really pleased with the figures."

Hughes said that this was the first radiothon fund-raiser for the hospital but that it probably will not be the last.

"This was the first one, but I think there is a very good chance that it will become an annual event," Hughes said.

The fund-raiser was possible because of cooperation between the N.C. Children's Hospital, Curtis Media Group -- which owns 14 N.C. radio stations -- and The Bob & Sheri Show, a syndicated morning radio show based in Charlotte hosted by Bob Lacey and Sheri Lynch.

The event also was supported by 400 volunteers made up of patients and families, physicians, nurses and hospital staff.

Planning for the event began in early May when the Medical Foundation of North Carolina Inc. -- the fund-raising arm of the UNC School of Medicine -- teamed up with advertising agency Jennings & Co. to approach Curtis Media Group.

Curtis Media Group is owned by Don Curtis, a UNC alumnus who still is involved in several aspects of the University, including the Board of Visitors of the UNC Lineberger Cancer Research Center and the group heading the renovations of Memorial Hall.

Curtis was inducted in the N.C. Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame last April.

Hughes said the event was so successful because of allies that provided access to large numbers of North Carolinians and many people's willingness to help children.

"The Curtis Media Group was essential because of the thousands of radio stations that reach 1 million listeners, and another part is the Bob and Sheri morning show that reaches 62 markets," Hughes said. "The final element, I think, is that people want to help children."

The N.C. Children's Hospital has several other annual fund-raisers that are probably familiar to the UNC community, including the UNC Dance Marathon and the Kenan-Flagler Business School Charity 5K Run/Walk.

Proceeds go to fund the N.C. Children's Hospital, which sees 32,000 children from all 100 counties in North Carolina each year for diagnosis and treatment of major diseases.

The new facility opened in March, with an additional children's outpatient center and 136 inpatient beds to accommodate the 92,000 visits patients make each year.

The children's hospital specializes in treating children with cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease, cancer, heart disease and trauma, including severe burns. UNC also treats children with infectious diseases, birth defects and problems of growth and development.

The University Editor can be reached at

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