Region unites to raise money for Niswonger Children’s Hospital Radiothon


Volunteers, including Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey and Senator
Rusty Crowe, man the phones during the 2013
Niswonger Children's Hospital Radiothon,
which raised more than $125,000 for the hospital.
This year's radiothon is March 3-4.

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – What do our region’s school kids, local businesses and restaurants, radio stations and community organizations have in common?

They’re all pitching in to raise money for the second-annual Niswonger Children’s Hospital Radiothon, to be broadcast live from the hospital March 3-4. All money raised will benefit the children’s hospital. And it’s not too late to get involved.

Radiothon corporate sponsors have already kicked off fundraising efforts in a variety of ways. Coming up next, Arby's will have a fundraising promotion on Feb. 15, while Sport Clips will do one March 1. Meanwhile, schoolchildren, clubs and organizations have been hosting bake sales, hot dog giveaways and lemonade stands and have been issuing money-raising challenges to other groups.

Throughout school systems in the region, children are participating in the “Change for Kids” project, bringing change during a designated week to fill up buckets especially designed for the radiothon.

It’s not too late to form a team or start raising money for the event, says Cookie McKinney, manager of Children’s Initiatives for Mountain States Foundation, sponsor of the event. To find out what you can do, call McKinney at 423-431-1224 or Don Raines, radiothon committee chair, at 423-791-9191. Or, visit the Foundation website at

 “Last year was our first-ever radiothon and we raised more than $125,000 which went to syringe pumps, which are an ongoing need throughout Niswonger,” McKinney said. “It was so successful and the community had so much fun helping support the children of this region that we knew we had to do it again. We’re hoping for even more participation this year.”

This year’s sponsors include Holston Valley Broadcasting, which is doing the broadcast, as well as Delta Dental and UBS Financial Services. CenturyLink will provide technology and phone set-up for the radiothon. Several other local retail businesses have been involved in promotions to raise money for the radiothon:

  • Walgreens sold Scrubs the Bear stickers for $1 each during the month of January, to be donated at the radiothon.
  • Chick-Fil-A donated $1 for every holiday tray sold during November and December.
  • Arby’s will donate a portion of its sales from all 15 local stores on Saturday, Feb. 15, to the radiothon.
  • Sport Clips will donate 25 percent of sales on Saturday, March 1, from both its Johnson City and Kingsport stores

Groups, individuals and businesses will be able to announce their donations and present them on-air to radio host Taylor Morgan during the March 3-4 broadcast. Volunteers will staff the phones in the Niswonger Children’s Hospital lobby to take pledges during the event. Listeners can tune in to local radio stations 98.5 WTFM, Classic Hits 102.7 WVEK, 95.9 The Hog, FM94! WMEV and ESPN Radio to keep up with the rising pledge and donation total. Anyone wishing to pledge on-air can call 1-855-611-KIDS (5437) during the broadcast.

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