The CKNW Kids’ Fund raised more than $1.4 million in donations from generous listeners during its annual pledge day radiothon Tuesday.
The station was broadcasting throughout the day from the rooftop room at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, sharing stories from recipients who have benefited from the fund, and encouraging listeners to phone-in with their pledges.
As the broadcast concluded at 7 p.m., hosts Drex and Eric Chapman revealed that $1,406,477 had been raised to support programs that help children with special needs all around the province.
“When people submit a request for help, it gets seen right away,” Sara Dubois-Phillips, executive director of the CKNW Kids’ Fund said.
“Every month, we go through the requests and process them, and we make it as simple as possible for people to get their funds because these families are under duress. We sign the checks and we make sure the people who need the help get it as fast as possible.”
Requests for funds range from a few dollars for bus passes, to critical healthcare needs like feeding tubes and hearing aids, which are not covered by government medical plans.
The final amount from the CKNW Kids’ Fund Pledge Day 2018 is still yet to be determined, as online donations are still being calculated. This pledge day was the 41st edition of the annual broadcast, which began in 1977 as a small, in-studio program.
The CKNW Orphans’ Fund rebranded as the CKNW Kids’ Fund this year. It was founded in December, 1944, with the initial aim of raising funds to buy gifts for the Loyal Protestant Home, an orphanage in New Westminster.
In the years since, the charity has expanded to support children facing physical, mental, and social challenges across B.C., and the fund’s mission is to provide timely support to the recipients of its help.
More than 170 guests attended the pledge day broadcast, which ran for 13-and-a-half hours. They included recipients of support from the CKNW Kids’ Fund, donors, and famous faces, while local school choirs kept listeners entertained with festive songs throughout the day.
“The work of the Kids’ Fund over many, many decades demonstrates the generosity of British Columbians, and who better to help than the kids of British Columbia? Giving a little bit of hope and happiness at this time of year makes you feel good, and it makes families feel better,” B.C. Premier, John Horgan, said during the broadcast Tuesday.
The 2018 pledge day marked a year-on-year increase in listener donations, from the $1.3 million raised in 2017.
Donations are still being accepted online.