CMN partners show strength of grassroots givingFeb. 25, 2016, 8:23 AM
The smiling face of Maddy Christison, a 7-year-old who has spinal muscular atrophy, greets customers at Speedway convenience store locations in Middle Tennessee. As the most recent Speedway Miracle Child representing Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, her photo has appeared on life-size cardboard cutouts in Speedway’s 21 Middle Tennessee locations with the goal of encouraging customers to help more children like her.
Speedway is one of more than 65 business partners supporting Children’s Hospital through Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, an international organization committed to raising funds and awareness to support local pediatric hospitals. Each time Middle Tennessee residents drop a coin in a CMN Hospitals’ change canister or buy a CMN paper balloon icon at local retailers, they’re helping children receive specialty pediatric care — ranging from broken bones to childhood cancer — at Children’s Hospital. Be it a dime, a quarter or a dollar, the small gifts make a big impact.
And this year, that impact will literally be concrete. Nearly all contributions made this year through CMN Hospitals campaigns in Middle Tennessee will go to the Growing to New Heights Campaign, which supports the four-floor expansion that will add 160,000 square feet of space to Children’s Hospital. The expansion will allow Children’s Hospital and its clinics, which already serve about 1,400 children and families each day, to advance the size and scope of the mission to provide world-class health care, train future generations of pediatricians and pediatric specialists and conduct groundbreaking research that leads to new treatments and cures.
“We are able to do our work every day and care for the children of our region because of the support we receive from our community and corporate partners,” said Luke Gregory, chief executive officer of Children’s Hospital. “We are proud to be a part of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. It is always inspiring to see the collective efforts of residents and business owners and employees who come together for a common cause: to help children get well.
“With the expansion, we will be able to serve every child who needs us,” Gregory said.
Since Vanderbilt joined the partnership with CMN in 1983, more than 65 community and corporate partners across 48 counties in Middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky have raised more than $27 million solely for Children’s Hospital.
CMN Hospitals partner with organizations to design fundraising campaigns and events, creating opportunities for employees and customers to give back. Throughout the year, the community and corporate partners hold campaigns to raise money. Some sell paper balloon icons stamped with the CMN Hospitals and Children’s Hospital signature logos, some collect change and some donate a portion of proceeds from special events.
Speedway, Publix Super Markets, Great Clips and fred’s Pharmacy illustrate the reach and range of these grassroots giving campaigns.
Speedway, the nation’s second-largest company-owned and -operated convenience store chain, has supported CMN Hospitals, including Children’s Hospital, for more than two decades.
Speedway’s Middle Tennessee locations host a variety of yearlong CMN Hospitals fundraising efforts that range from a corporate-wide fountain drink promotion in May to everyday collection of change in their special canisters. Speedway has committed $250,000 from its ongoing efforts to go toward the Growing to New Heights Campaign.
Speedway also hosts a golf tournament near their Ohio headquarters, and every CMN hospital is represented at the tournament by a child ambassador like Maddy Christison.
“Maddy is one amazing little girl with an infectious smile,” said Kirk Ellis, Speedway senior district manager for the Tennessee market. “Our employees and customers love raising funds for CMN Hospitals and Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt because we love helping kids like Maddy.”
Publix Super Markets
Publix has been a national CMN Hospitals partner since 1992. Customers who shop in Publix Super Markets also have the chance to help Children’s Hospital when they check out at the register at all Middle Tennessee store locations. They can make a donation for $1, $3 or $5, and they receive coupons for their generosity.
The 30 Publix stores in Middle Tennessee raised $129,384 during their 2015 campaign, bringing the cumulative total raised here to more than $600,000. The next campaign at Publix will take place May 21 – June 11, and every dollar raised will help Children’s Hospital grow to meet the rising need for pediatric specialty care.
“Publix Super Markets is a proud supporter of CMN Hospitals and the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt,” said Brenda Reid, Media and Community Relations manager for Publix. “Our associates and customers support the organization by making donations at the registers at all of our stores in Middle Tennessee. We’re proud to be a community partner and look forward to another successful campaign.”
Great Clips hair salons, a CMN Hospitals partner, dedicate October every year as a “Great” month for a haircut. Participating Great Clips salons in communities across the country sell the iconic paper miracle balloons to benefit their local CMN hospital. By purchasing a $1 balloon, customers help children and also receive a $2 coupon off their next haircut.
Great Clips’ 54 locations in Middle Tennessee raised more than $52,000 in 2015, and will continue the tradition in October.
Stylists at the salons take ownership of the campaign, getting creative with the paper balloons to create art designs on the store windows and walls.
“Our balloon sales month in October has been going on for 20 years at Great Clips, so it’s something that we all prepare for. It’s our big charity event each year,” said Pete Gilreath, co-op president and franchise owner for Great Clips. “We think our stylists like helping the hospital, and our customers appreciate it too.”
Since 2006, fred’s Pharmacy has participated annually in the CMN Hospitals miracle balloon icon campaign as well as other fundraisers such as bake sales, carnivals, hat contests and more. The 40 fred’s Pharmacy locations in Middle Tennessee raised more than $53,000 in 2015.
“Our employees have seen firsthand how one dollar at a time can truly make a difference in the lives of children in the communities we serve,” said Wes Maddox, regional vice president. “fred’s Pharmacy believes in the importance of local community involvement, and we are proud to partner with CMN Hospitals and Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.”