June 6, 2003

Every dollar counts when making miracles

Featured Image

The completion of another successful Children’s Miracle Network telethon finds Channel 5 and VUMC people in a celebratory mood: L-R: Vicki Yates and Ron Howes of NewsChannel 5, Dr. Harry R. Jacobson, vice chancellor for Health Affairs, James Shmerling, CEO of Children’s Hospital, Debbie Turner, general manager, WTVF, Dr. Arnold Strauss, chief medical officer, VCH, and Tuwanda Coleman, producer of the telethon. Strauss presented Channel 5 with a silver plate in recognition of the
station’s 20 years of hosting the telethon.

Every dollar counts when making miracles

The 21st annual Children’s Miracle Network telethon, held May 31-June 1, raised $983,360 for the organization. The telethon represents a yearlong fund-raising effort that culminates in the 10-hour televised event hosted locally by NewsChannel 5.

At the time of the telethon, corporate partners make check presentations of their fund-raising efforts and individuals call in pledges, all leading up to the final tote board total.

“The enthusiastic support of NewsChannel 5, our corporate sponsors, the participation of patients and families, and the hundreds of volunteers who work so hard all year long really do make miracles happen,” said Rosalie Boyd, CMN director. “The response from everyone is wonderful.”

A significant percentage of the money raised comes directly from the miracle balloon and canister donations at many local establishments. Although benefactors make larger contributions, the extra dollars used to purchase miracle balloons or the loose change dropped in canisters by store patrons add up throughout the year.

“Knowing that NewsChannel 5 and the people of our community so strongly support our Children’s Hospital is inspiring – to all of us who work there – doctors, nurses and staff… But it must also be inspiring to all of the moms and dads who entrust us to care for and help the children they hold so close in their hearts,” said Dr. Harry R. Jacobson, vice chancellor for Health Affairs, during a special presentation to NewsChannel 5’s general manager, Debbie Turner. The station was recognized for their 20-year commitment to the telethon.

Participating stores, such as Wal-mart, Daily’s Convenience Stores, Goody’s, and Carmike Cinemas, compete with other stores, challenging their colleagues to devise better and more effective strategies to raise more money.

Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital is a founding member of Children’s Miracle Network. Originally comprised of only 21 hospitals, CMN now includes more than 170 hospitals across the United States and Canada.

The CMN telethon remains the only such fund-raising event in which all money raised goes directly to local member hospitals. The funds raised support equipment, programs, research, and education.