SPRINGFIELD — This year’s 7th annual 94.7 WMAS Children’s Miracle Network Radiothon not only broke a record by raising $201,000 in support of Baystate Children’s Hospital, it also made a little girl’s dream come true and left her with a wonderful memory of her stay in the hospital.
On the day 11-year-old Devon Roy from Greenfield was to give a speech at her school’s History Fair, she found herself a patient in Baystate Children’s Hospital. Upset that she couldn’t be at school with her friends for the fair, the youngster was able to deliver her speech on African-American civil rights activist Rosa Parks live on the radio for all her classmates to hear.
Also among the many emotional highlights of the three-day Radiothon was a return visit from 5-year-old Adam Wiatrowski, who again this year broke into a chorus of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” for the radio audience. The ‘miracle’ child, who spent the first 11 weeks of his life in the Davis Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Baystate Children’s Hospital, recited the pledge phone number for callers to make donations and was accompanied by his parents, Richard and Amy Wiatrowksi of Longmeadow, this year’s 2008 CMN Telethon chairs.
Dr. Edward O. Reiter, chairman of Pediatrics at 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,” Reiter said.
94.7 FM WMAS on-air personalities, led by the Kellog Krew featuring Chris Kellog, Dina McMahon, and “Lopez,” 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.
“WMAS Radio has been a longtime supporter of the Children’s Miracle Network dating back to the early days of our former Lucky Duck Race to the tremendously successful Radiothon they helped to establish seven years ago. We can’t thank them enough for their dedication to the Children’s Miracle Network and the hard work they put into making this year’s Radiothon our biggest ever,” said Ely Dunn, manager of Children’s Miracle Network.
“We are extremely grateful for the generosity of our presenting sponsor, Health New England, who matched over $15,000 in donations, and to Miracle Match Sponsor Patriot Home Improvement, who matched another $26,000 in donations over the three days,” said Michelle Graci, coordinator of fund-raising events for Baystate Health.
“In addition to Health New England and Patriot Home Improvement, we thank our generous Change Bandit sponsor Pioneer Valley Federal Credit Union, and we extend our thanks to the many volunteers and workers who helped make this event such a success, such as Carrabba’s Italian Grill, which kept everyone well fed,” Graci added.
Another highlight of the event was the tremendous response from the community as Change Bandits, who collected loose change in the amount of $15,000 to kick off the event. More than 180 individuals signed on as Change Bandits, as well as many more Kids Helping Kids School Change Bandits, led by this year’s School Change Bandit leaders from Frederick Harris School, who raised over $1,000.
The money raised through the Radiothon will help fund pediatric research, patient care, education, and advocacy at Baystate Children’s Hospital in Springfield, Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield, Baystate Mary Lane Hospital in Ware, and the Baystate Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice.