KINGSPORT – Increasing the local Children’s Miracle Network fund-raising goal from $300,000 last year to $350,000 this year might have seemed a lofty ambition to some. But not to an organization that performs miracles.
Generous corporate donations and a June 1 telethon on WJHL Newschannel 11 helped the Wellmont Foundation and Children’s Miracle Network raise a total of $358,212.12 to provide medical equipment and treatment to children in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. CMN is unique in that all money raised locally stays in the local community.
“This is an incredible accomplishment,” Wellmont Foundation President Dr. Brent Kennedy said. “But the Children’s Miracle Network is an incredibly worthy cause, so it’s no surprise that the region’s business community and individuals responded with the amount of generosity that they did.”
One of the most generous donations came from area Wal-Mart stores and distribution centers, which gave a combined total of $254,000. Individual donors were happy to help as well, and the amount of pledged donations during the June 1 telethon more than doubled from last year.
“Everything about the broadcast was an unqualified success,” Dr. Kennedy said. “But it couldn’t have happened without the help of Wal-Mart, WJHL Newschannel 11, all of the event’s sponsors and the countless number of people who volunteered their time, effort and donations.”
The Children’s Miracle Network was developed in 1983 to help improve the quality of life of sick children and each year raises millions of dollars for children’s hospitals. CMN represents 170 children’s hospitals around the nation, including Wellmont Health System.
The local CMN broadcast, an annual celebration that tells the stories of children helped by Wellmont hospitals, gives the children and their families a chance to thank the people whose donations have made their miracle stories possible.