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20th Annual 94.7 WMAS Radiothon to benefit Baystate Children’s Hospital

March 02, 2021
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Six-month-old Celine Grace Stewart spent the first 11 days of her life inside the Davis Neonatal Infant Care Unit (NICU) at Baystate Children’s Hospital.

Hattie Avigliano also spent the first months of her life in the NICU at Baystate Children’s Hospital, arriving in the world 3 ½ months early, and fighting for her life.

These children and their families will share their miraculous stories of surviving and thriving during the 20th annual 94.7 WMAS Radiothon to benefit Baystate Children’s Hospital.

How to listen

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event will not be held at the hospital this year, but broadcast live from the WMAS studios for two days on March 9 and 10 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

94.7 FM WMAS on-air personalities, led by the Kellogg Krew of Chris, Dina, and Lopez, will fill both days with encouraging stories. Listeners will also get to know the professional team from Baystate Children’s Hospital, who care for their kids, their grandkids, and their neighbor’s kids.

Why donate?

This year’s Radiothon will be held in remembrance of Jim Raimo, 94.7 WMAS team member, and Radiothon supporter, who showed great dedication to Baystate Children’s Hospital. He passed away in 2020, but his efforts for helping local kids get better will not be forgotten.

Last year over $226,877 was raised and Berg noted the entire Radiothon team is “counting on the community to help raise even more for local kids this year.”

Baystate Children’s Hospital is one of 170 fundraising Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals across the country. Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals are unique in that 100% of all money raised locally goes directly to Baystate Children’s Hospital in Springfield in support of children’s health programs and services.

How to Donate

The public is encouraged to call, text, or go online to donate. Donors can call to donate via the Lia Auto Group Phone Bank at 413-794-1111, go online at WMASKIDS.com, or text WMASKIDS to 51555.

“Whether in person, over the phone or by text, your generous pledges support the true heroes of the only comprehensive, accredited children’s hospital in western Massachusetts.

Uplifting and hope-filled stories from our many miracle children, their families and caregivers will help you understand how important your support is to kids right here in our community,” said Scott Berg, vice president of Philanthropy, Baystate Health, and executive director of the Baystate Health Foundation.

To make an online donation today, visit WMASKIDS.com (webpage may be slow to load) or baystate health.org.

For more information, email the event manager, Heather Clark.

Become a Miracle Maker

To take part in the Miracle Maker program by calling in and pledging $20 or more a month.

Set up your own Radiothon fundraiser

Create your own fundraising page for Radiothon and encourage friends and family to donate.

A Legacy of Helping Others

The Baystate Health Foundation hosted the first 94.7 WMAS Radiothon for Baystate Children’s Hospital in 2002.

Ever since, Baystate Health has worked with the community to help children in need of quality care.

2020

Despite the start of the pandemic, the community was able to raise more than $226,877.

2019

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The 18th annual 94.7 WMAS Radiothon for Baystate Children’s Hospital raised $263,965.57 to support pediatric patient care during its two-day run, March 5-6, 2019. This surpassed 2018’s total by more than $18,000.

“We’re so grateful to everyone that supports this event – from the volunteers and sponsors to the patients and families who share their stories,” shared Briana LaChappelle, manager of fundraising events for Baystate Health Foundation. “It’s incredible what we can make possible when we all come together.”

2018

“Baystate Children’s Hospital saved our child’s life,” said Kate and Doug Poole in unison.

When Kate gave birth to their daughter, Olivia Jane Poole on March 11, 2016, they expected a healthy little bundle of joy. Instead, Olivia was born with multiple birth defects, the result of a disorder called VACTERL association, which affects many body systems.

Born at Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield, Olivia was immediately transferred to the area’s only Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Baystate Children’s Hospital in Springfield. Over the course of a year, while in the NICU and after she was discharged, Olivia underwent some seven operations to correct the birth defects, which Kate said were “thankfully fixable.”

Olivia’s story was just one of many amazing stories of courage and hope that was heard during the 17th 94.7 WMAS Radiothon to benefit Baystate Children’s Hospital, broadcasted live from Baystate Medical Center on March 6-7.

2017

Listeners to 2017's 94.7 WMAS Radiothon raised $233,562 on March 7 and 8.

They heard a number of stories about our "miracle" children like Brendan McDonald.

During a routine ultrasound, Brendan's parents learned that their son was going to be born with a significant congenital heart defect. Brendan was diagnosed with L-TGA, VSD (L-Type Transposition of the Great Arteries and a Ventricular Sepal Defect). Essentially, he was born with a hole in his heart, and his heart ventricles and arteries were reversed.

Within the first months of his young life, Brendan went into heart failure and was rushed to Baystate Children’s Hospital where he was cared for by his pediatric cardiologist team. He underwent open-heart surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital at the age of four months and returned to Baystate Children’s Hospital for care following complications from his surgery. Throughout his childhood, Brendan continued to experience heart arrhythmias and be monitored by his Baystate Health doctors and a specialists.

Watch a video of Brendan and Sam

More stories heard in 2017:

2016

Generous donors pledged a record-breaking total of $343,377 during the 15th Annual 94.7 WMAS Radiothon, which ran March 3-5.

Dr. Charlotte Boney, chair of Pediatrics at Baystate Children’s Hospital at the time, noted the 94.7 WMAS Radiothon is a “tremendous showcase for the care that Baystate Children’s Hospital gives to the children in our community.”

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During the Radiothon, people heard stories, one of them being how Morgan “Momo” Morris thrived as a spunky 7-year old following her 2011 diagnosis of Acute lymphoblastic Leukemia.

Momo received multiple blood transfusions, bone marrow biopsies and rounds of chemotherapy at Baystate Children’s Hospital.

At the end of the three-day Radiothon, officials announced that Momo would serve as the next Massachusetts Children’s Miracle Network Champion – representing the state at events that include congressional visits in Washington, D.C. and national media exposure.

More stories heard in 2016:

2015

Generous donors pledging their support of Baystate Children’s Hospital resulted in a record-breaking total of $325,465 raised during the 14th Annual 94.7 WMAS Radiothon which ran March 5-7.

Listeners heard emotional stories like that of Joe.

Four days after the birth of their son at Baystate Medical Center, Harold and Kristin Coles learned Joe had mosaic Down syndrome. He also had a blood disorder called transient myeloproliferative disorder which is found almost exclusively in newborn babies with Down syndrome.

At age two, Joe was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia, which involved an aggressive treatment plan including chemotherapy lasting 72 consecutive treatments. It was during his care at Baystate Children’s Hospital that his appendix also burst, sending him into emergency surgery.

One of the highlights of the 2015 Radiothon was a tribute to the late Cory Garwacki, 27, who passed away in October 2014 after a lifelong battle with short gut syndrome. Garwacki was a longtime advocate and fundraiser for Baystate Children’s Hospital.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno proclaimed Thursday, March 5, as “Cory Garwacki Day.” A beautiful Boston rocker inscribed with his name stood empty at the Radiothon, where each year Garwacki took an important place at the microphone.

More stories heard in 2015:

2014

During 2014’s Radiothon, sponsors and listeners pledged $254,341 in support of local health care programs for children at Baystate Children’s Hospital.