Radio-thon raises $260,000 for University family center

by Sarah Brownson

Local radio station 101.3 KDWB’s morning show held a 36-hour radio-thon at Rosedale shopping center Thursday and Friday to benefit the KDWB Variety Family Center on the University’s Minneapolis campus.
The radio-thon raised more than $260,000 toward the center, a division of the Medical School’s pediatrics and general health.
“We did way more than we expected and hoped for,” promotions coordinator Nate Boutang said. The live radio-thon raised more money than last year.
“We’re proud of what’s happened,” Boutang added.
Listeners called in pledges, and the Variety Center’s staff answered the calls during the radio-thon.
The station also had a silent auction, including items such as concert tickets and trips, to raise additional money.
Two floor-level ‘N SYNC tickets with “meet and greet” passes proved to be the most popular item, fetching $6,000 alone.
Throughout the radio-thon, stories of those touched by the center were broadcasted. Listeners heard for themselves what the program does for local communities.
KDWB and the Variety Children’s Association are two of the biggest sponsors, said Peggy Mann Rinehart, the center’s executive director.
“It’s a wonderful collaboration with the community,” Rinehart said. “KDWB’s audience certainly encompasses the age of patients that we see.”
The center is home to many programs for at-risk youth and children with disabilities. It also has programs for children with complex medical conditions and their families and has a resource and information center to help learn about medical conditions.
“These are not kids you should feel sorry for,” Rinehart said.”These are kids that are living out in the community.”
Without this program some would be hospitalized, she added.
The center has the only teen pregnancy prevention research center in the county, where teens become peer counselors. It also has the only youth and AIDS project in the state, working to prevent the transmission of HIV and providing care for youth and their families living with HIV.
The center is located in the Gateway alumni center.