On Wednesday and Thursday, the lobby of the Stollery Children’s Hospital was buzzing with activity as the 20th annual Corus Radiothon took place.
Starting in 1999, the annual fundraiser has brought in over $23 million for the hospital.
The 2019 radiothon alone raised a total of $1,564,455.
“We wouldn’t be doing it,” Kathy Reid, a Stollery nurse practitioner, said of radiothon’s impact. “We just wouldn’t be doing the kind of research we’re able to do here.”
Each year the money raised goes toward whatever it is the hospital needs. The undesignated funding is funneled through the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation and it means doctors and nurses can put the money toward the hospital’s biggest need at that time.
“The best thing about undesignated funding is that the hospital dictates what they need when they need it,” Courtney Gillis, who works with the foundation, said. “That way we’re able to help in the best way possible.”
WATCH BELOW: Ongoing Global News coverage of the 2019 Stollery Radiothon
Right now the hospital is raising money for a bottle warmer for use at the Stollery NICU at the Royal Alexandra Hospital and a portable ultrasound that scoliosis patients would use.
“Our biggest ask of radiothon is that people call in, they become a monthly donor — but any donations are great,” Gillis said.
Over the years, according to Gillis, the majority of the over $22 million raised has come from people signing up to be monthly donors. The most common donation is $20 per month.
“Our monthly donors are imperative to what we do at the Stollery and what the foundation is able to help them do.”
Reid has been working at the Stollery for 35 years. She describes the first radiothon as “tiny, with just a few phones.”
LISTEN BELOW: How the Stollery Children’s Hospital helped a family find strength during hardship
“It’s certainly grown,” she said. “It’s been an amazing event to see. It is hard to hear the stories and to know what some people’s journeys are, but I love coming and see the families come back that I’ve known over the years,” Reid said.
“Most kids, hopefully, never come through these doors, but if they need to, we’re here for them.”
CISN Country 103.9 broadcast live from the Stollery both days. 630 CHED was live during the 630 CHED Morning News from 6 a.m. – 9 a.m. and the 630 CHED Afternoon News from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.
LISTEN BELOW: How the Stollery Children’s Hospital helped one family find comfort away from home
Global Edmonton brought two newscasts to the Stollery with Global News at 5 and Global News Hour at 6. Organizers told Global News that during the two broadcasts, nearly $70,000 was pledged.