CMN Radiothan Surpasses Goal, Nets $177,500 in Pledges

SPRINGFIELD — During the often emotional three-day 5th Annual 94.7 WMAS Children’s Miracle Network Radiothon on March 2-4, listeners pledged some $177,500 in support of local health care programs for children at Baystate Children’s Hospital.

This year’s record-breaking total surpassed the radiothon’s goal of raising $165,000. Last year’s final figure was $142,000 in pledges.

“Listeners were clearly moved by the many touching stories they heard on the radiothon from parents whose children were treated at Baystate Children’s Hospital and they responded with great compassion and generosity,” said Michelle Graci, coordinator of Fundraising Events for Baystate Children’s Hospital.

“We are extremely grateful for the generosity of our presenting sponsor, Health New England, who matched $15,000 in donations over the three days,” Graci added.

Among the many emotional highlights of the Radiothon were when 14-year-old Anthony Liquori of West Springfield, a Baystate Children’s Hospital patient who underwent surgery for a brain tumor and who has been confined to a wheelchair for the past three years, demonstrated the amazing progress he has made by walking onto the Children’s Miracle Network playdeck to bring a donation and to share his story, noted Graci.

Other highlights included an appearance by 3-year-old Adam Wiatrowski of Longmeadow, who spent 11 weeks in Baystate’s Davis Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, after being born prematurely at 26 weeks and weighing only 2 lbs. 13 oz. During his parent’s interview on the radiothon, the youngster broke into singing Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star for the radio audience and then recited the pledge phone number for callers to make donations.

Dr. Edward O. Reiter, chairman of pediatrics, Baystate Children’s Hospital, noted that the radiothon is a “tremendous showcase for the care our staff gives to the children in our community.

“We thank them and all the families who shared their stories with us,” he said.

94.7 FM WMAS on-air personalities, led by Paul Cannon and Rob Anthony, continued with their regular radio formats throughout the day interspersed with live and taped interviews featuring young patients and their families, as well as staff, from Baystate Children’s Hospital.

“It’s one way we can help to give back to the community, and the response from listeners was incredible this year resulting in our most successful Radiothon ever for the Children’s Miracle Network at Baystate Children’s Hospital,” said Cannon.

WMAS Radio has been a longtime supporter of the Children’s Miracle Network from the early days of the former Lucky Duck Race to the tremendously successful radiothon the station helped to establish five years ago.

In addition to Health New England, other sponsors included Baystate MRI and Imaging, Baystate PET Imaging Services, and the Baystate Medical Center Auxiliary.

The money raised through the Radiothon will help fund pediatric research, patient care, education and advocacy at Baystate Children’s Hospital in Springfield, Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield, Baystate Mary Lane Hospital in Ware, and the Baystate Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice.