Inland Empire residents pledge more than $94,000 to LLU Children
Volunteers at the KOLA 99.9 FM radiothon benefiting Loma Linda University Children's Hospital, take a break from answering telephones. Pictured are (from left) Kelly Jackson, LLUCH senior marketing specialist and radiothon coordinator; Kenneth Kim, account executive, LLUMC marketing; Jeff Reynolds, LLUMC marketing; Heather Wolfe, marketing specialist, LLUMC marketing; Karen Jackson, administrative secretary, transplant, LLUMC; and Joanna A. DeLeon, grant and special appeals writer, LLUCH Foundation.
Inland Empire residents pledged a total of $94,410.95 for the children at Loma Linda University Children's Hospital during a radiothon hosted by the Redlands-based KOLA 99.9 FM radio station.
Broadcasting live from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 21 and 22, 488 radio listeners called in with their pledges to Children's Hospital volunteers who staffed the telephone call-in lines.
"The on-air radio personalities did a tremendous job in appealing to KOLA listeners to support Loma Linda University Children's Hospital," says Patti Cotton Pettis, executive director of the LLUCH Foundation.
KOLA disc jockeys appealed to listeners to donate $199.90 for KOLA Care Bears (the dollar figure coincides with the KOLA frequency of 99.9 on the FM radio dial) so that each child being transported to Children's Hospital would receive a cuddly teddy bear. Funds representing a total of 445 bears were donated by radio listeners.
"Many times when a child is being transported to Children's Hospital, there is no room in the ambulance or helicopter for the parent or parents to accompany their child," Ms. Pettis says. "Teddy bears are given to our young patients to provide them with warmth and a 'friend' on their way to the hospital.
"Going to an unknown place without your parents can be very scary for the children," she continues. "The teddy bear provides our little ones with a sense of security."
Each KOLA bear donated by the radio listeners will wear a medical wristband with the name of the Inland Empire KOLA listener who donated the bear.
In addition to the listeners that provided funds for the teddy bears, 40 KOLA listeners pledged $99.90 each and three listeners pledged a dollar-a-day pledge at $365.
Approximately 2,000 children are transported to Children's Hospital each year by ambulance or helicopter. Many of these children come from outlying regions served by LLUCH.
LLU Children's Hospital is the only children's hospital serving the more than 2.1 million children living in San Bernardino, Riverside, Inyo, and Mono counties. Each year, more than 11,000 children are admitted to Children's Hospital, and more than 100,000 children visit the hospital for ambulatory care.
Nearly 70 percent of the patients at Children's Hospital are under-insured or have no insurance at all, resulting in an approximately $25 million gap between the cost of providing health-care and reimbursement received by the hospital.
"This is why partners like KOLA and its radio listeners are so impotant to Children's Hospital," Ms. Pettis says.