After thanking their final caller of the day, A.I. duPont Hospital for Children phone bank volunteers readied for the big reveal. At the stroke of 6 pm, 11-year-old patient ambassador Parker Diskin announced that the 7th annual Radiothon had raised a record $345,982!
Volunteers, doctors, patient and staff erupted in cheers and fist pumps at the announcement, which concluded an extraordinary two days of non-stop action inside the atrium of the hospital. This was $30,000 more than last year and the best so far.
Local personalities from six Delmarva Broadcasting radio stations, including WSTW and WDEL, rotated in and out of the lobby over the two days so they could broadcast their shows live from the hospital. And there were several children’s events for patients and their families, including the Brandywine Zoo’s pop-up petting zoo, a dance-a-thon, Play-Doh activities, visiting characters and free ice cream from Maggie Moos, as well as appearances by the Phillie Phanatic and Caesar from the Delaware 87ers.
It was a fun day and fun place to be even for patients who could not physically make it down to the lobby. Every floor has a glass enclosure with wide views of the sun-lit lobby, and some children were able to watch activities from there to feel a part of the event.
Nemours Chief Development Officer Cathy Kanefsky said the 48-hour Radiothon means so much for the hospital than the bottom line. “This is a wonderful culmination of so many people coming together from the community. It’s two packed days of raising awareness, raising money, and raising a sense of camaraderie.”
This year proceeds will benefit the Child Life Program and Child Life Activity Center, which helps normalize the hospital experience for young patients and allows every child just to be able to be a kid.
Kanefsky attributes a lot of the success of the Radiothon to the families who allowed their personal stories to be shared over the radio with listeners all over the state. “Touching peoples hearts at the very right time — we have done a nice job of connecting the Delmarva radio stations with families who were able to share their experiences, some heartbreaking, some heartwarming, and all very real and moving.”