When Carole Caine and I began hosting the “Miracle Marathon” on 96.5 WKLH back in 1998 we had no idea what to expect. It was our first ever 60 hour radio marathon, a.k.a. “radiothon” and it went by in a flash. Sure, we knew we’d be exhausted. Obviously we knew we would raise some money. But we had no idea! Having never planned something like this before, we were woefully short on volunteers and operators. At one point I was on-air trying to stall for time, because Carole, our producer, and even one of my scheduled interview guests had to go and help answer phones! It was obvious that we were all experiencing something very special.
So, what made this so special? Quite simply: the kids. Their stories and the way they tell them are priceless. These children display uncommon wisdom and a sense of humor. Their stories and the genuineness they exude touch everyone within earshot. These kids, and their families, are what make the Miracle Marathon so special.
Every year we are blown away by how courageous the children and families are. We are touched by how much love they show the doctors, nurses and all the caregivers. We’re amazed that each of these kids has become an “expert” in the diagnosis and treatment of their particular illness. These are children who, in many cases, are dealing with grave situations that would devastate most adults. Yet, they were the ones who were providing comfort and support to their family and friends. And let’s not forget the medical staff at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Carole and I are humbled every year when we witness their interactions with the kids. These are people whose expertise is world-renowned. Yet, they treat each child and family with tenderness, dignity and compassion.
I, along with Carole Caine, Kevin Brandt and the rest of the staff of 96.5 WKLH, consider it an honor and a privilege to host the Miracle Marathon every year. As a matter of fact, some of us have even had to use the services at Children’s Hospital for our own kids through the years and we know first hand how amazing this place is. It’s not an exaggeration to say that we, and our audience, get far more out of doing the Miracle Marathon than we give back.
Since 1998, we’ve raised more than $11,000,000 for Children’s Hospital. Every penny we’ve raised has stayed right here in the state. The money raised has helped purchase new, innovative equipment and has helped finance the hospital’s recent expansion. All the money we raise helps Children’s Hospital maintain its exceptional level of care.
We’ve come a long way since that first Miracle Marathon. Subsequent years have seen radiothon innovations such as online donations, moving the broadcast and call center to Children’s Hospital, an on-site web cam and increasing the number of operators and volunteers exponentially.
One thing has remained constant. The kids. They truly are special. Their stories inspire listener donations. That’s where you come in. If you’d like to be featured on the Miracle Marathon coming up May 20th, 21 and 22, contact Erin Hareng at firstname.lastname@example.org or (414) 266-5429.
Please join us, Dave & Carole, on 96.5 WKLH and help make a difference in the life of a child.
– Dave Luczak, 96.5 WKLH