Toronto community raises $3.7 million for SickKids



    TORONTO, March 30 /CNW/ - Hearing was believing for millions of listeners
across the GTA who tuned in and opened their hearts for The Hospital for Sick
Children (SickKids). As The 21st Annual SickKids Radiothon ended at 6 p.m.
today, SickKids patients proudly displayed a final tally of $3.7 million, an
all-time high for any Radiothon in North America. More than 120 families,
patients and staff shared their stories over the past three days through 112
hours of live broadcast hours on Newstalk 1010 CFRB, 97.3 EZ Rock and 99.9 MIX
FM.
    "It is overwhelming when you think about the families who shared their
personal stories of courage and let listeners into their everyday reality,"
said Michael O'Mahoney, President of SickKids Foundation. "I was personally
touched by the magnitude of support that came pouring in from the community
over the last three days. Once again the listeners in Toronto recognized the
need for their support and demonstrated that they believe, as we do, that
every child deserves to be healthy."
    Once again this year, Foresters, a life insurance organization, has
underwritten the costs of every Children's Miracle Network Radiothon across
North America including the SickKids Radiothon. As a result of their support,
every single dollar raised over the past three days went directly to the
hospital. The money raised from this year's radiothon will go towards the
highest priority needs at SickKids, critical to ensuring SickKids has the
facilities, equipment and staff needed to conduct leading-edge research and to
provide the life-saving care for which the hospital has become known.
    First-time Radiothon host and 99.9 MIX FM morning show co-host, Mad Dog
seemed personally touched throughout the entire event. "I've been coming to
SickKids for the past five years and truly appreciate what a gift this
institution is for the hundreds of thousands of kids who pass through its
doors every year," he said. "It's hard to believe but what we brought to
listeners these past few days was just a glimpse at the magnitude of research
and care this hospital provides every single day."
    One of the most unforgettable elements of this year's Radiothon was The
Wishing Wall, a powerful display that transformed a wall at SickKids into a
symbol of hope for patients and families who shared their thoughts and wishes
throughout the three days. Nine-year-old Valentina wished "that all deaf kids
could hear." Sydney, 17, wished "that SickKids will be able to give every
child the chance they need, like they gave me." But 14-year-old Spenser's wish
seemed to sum everything up, "I wish that kids didn't have to wish to be
healthy."
    Through the combined efforts of Miracle Club members who signed up to
give $18 a month, these children's wishes have a chance of coming true. People
can still continue to donate by calling 1-877-584-5437 on-line at
www.sickkidsradiothon.com.

    About Foresters
    ---------------
    Foresters makes life happen for families, children and communities. As
Foresters grows by helping families with life insurance needs, the capacity to
make a difference also grows. Foresters is proud to share time, talent and
financial strength to help raise funds for The Hospital for Sick Children
through national and local support of Radiothon. Foresters support means that
every dollar raised during Radiothon stays in the community to support the
work of our hospital.

    About SickKids Foundation
    -------------------------
    In September 2005, SickKids Foundation launched the largest fundraising
campaign for a hospital in Canadian history with a goal of $500 million to be
reached by 2011. SickKids Foundation was established in 1972. Its mission is
to inspire its communities to invest in health and scientific advances to
improve the lives of children and their families in Canada and around the
world. Its vision is "Healthier children. A better world."
    In addition to its support of The Hospital for Sick Children, the
Foundation has a mandate to support children's health on a national basis.
Through its National Grants Program, SickKids Foundation invests $4 million
annually across Canada in paediatric research, focusing on issues important to
children's health which have not been addressed elsewhere.





For further information:

For further information: Lori Abbott, SickKids Foundation, w: (416)
813-8292, c: (647) 241-6525, Email: lori.abbott@sickkidsfoundation.com

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SickKids Foundation

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