From volunteers to technology, here’s what goes into putting on the Corus Radiothon

How the Corus Radiothon for the Stollery comes together
WATCH ABOVE: It's on the air for two days, but the Corus Radiothon takes much longer to put together. Quinn Ohler offers a glimpse at all the work behind the scenes.

It’s two days of organized chaos in the middle of a busy hospital. Over the two days of the Corus Radiothon in Edmonton, three radio stations broadcast live while hundreds of volunteers take pledges.

The work begins long before that first phone call into the event is made though.

“The amount of work that goes into it in the months leading up to it, it’s quite phenomenal,” said Martin Shuldhaus with the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation.

READ MORE: 19th annual Corus Radiothon looking to raise money for Stollery Children’s Hospital equipment

Six months of work has gone into the 2018 event. It starts with meetings with stakeholders, including Corus Radio.

“[We] really talk about what this event can look like and can be this year and where we need to focus our energy,” Shuldhaus said. “This event is so vital to the work we do.”
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Watch below: A closer look at the Corus Radiothon, by the numbers

By the numbers: Corus Radiothon over the years
By the numbers: Corus Radiothon over the years

A large portion of that work is coordinating families. Over the two days, more than 40 families will open up to share their remarkable stories of how the Stollery Children’s Hospital has impacted their lives. It takes months of organizing for each family to share what proves every year to be an incredibly powerful message.

“I think that’s why people give… these stories are not hard to imagine,” Shuldaus told Global News on Tuesday. “They are closer to home than most people think. You talk to anyone and they have a Stollery story.”

Those stories have an impact not just on listeners but on volunteers. More than 200 people will give up their time to be a part of the event.

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“Volunteers are really everything,” volunteer coordinator Lisa Hnat said. “We could not do this without them.”

 READ MORE: Corus Radiothon raises over $1.2M for Stollery Children’s Hospital

In the hours before the event, a lot of technology is moved into a small corner of the hospital. The three radio stations need equipment to broadcast live and dozens of volunteers need to be able to use the phone lines to answer pledges. Tables are set up, banners go up and the last-minute touches are given a lot of attention, all while the hospital has to run as it normally would.

“There’s more important things going on other than setting up for this when it comes to the health-care needs that are happening,” said Shuldhaus, who added the hospital staff are great at opening their home for the event.

Watch below: Leduc mother shares her daughter’s connection to the Stollery Children’s Hospital. Stacey Bruinsma says her daughter Annika was in a full body cast at five months old.  

Corus Radiothon: Leduc family shares connection with Stollery Children’s Hospital
Corus Radiothon: Leduc family shares connection with Stollery Children’s Hospital

To donate to the 2018 Corus Radiothon, visit the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation website, call 780-407-5437 or 1-866-407-5437 to donate by phone, or text STOLLERY to 45678 to donate $10, $20 or $50.

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Since 2000, the Corus Radiothon has raised more than $20 million for the foundation.

The 2018 event kicks off at 6 a.m. on Wednesday and wraps up at 6 p.m. on Thursday.

Watch below: The 19th annual Corus Radiothon is underway at the Stollery Children’s Hospital. Kent Morrison spoke with Martin Schuldhaus about how the the event is raising money for several pieces of equipment.

2018 Corus Radiothon for Stollery Children’s Hospital underway
2018 Corus Radiothon for Stollery Children’s Hospital underway