KINGSPORT – Dogs jumped through hoops, hosts bantered with Spider-Man, confetti exploded through the air, and the generous souls of the Tri-Cities region donated more than $300,000 to a worthy cause.
All in a day’s work – at least for those who work miracles.
The Wellmont Foundation and the Children’s Miracle Network this year raised $309,330 thanks to corporate donations and a live, 10-hour telethon broadcast Saturday, May 31, from MeadowView Conference Resort and Convention Center on WJHL News Channel 11. All of the money raised locally will stay in this region to provide medical equipment and treatment to children in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.
“Each year, I’m amazed by the generosity of the people of the Tri-Cities,” Wellmont Foundation President Dr. Brent Kennedy said. “I’m amazed but not surprised. This is a great cause, and I know the people of this region think it is just as important as we do.”
That was shown by the $33,200 raised by individual donations during the telethon – more than twice the amount raised last year.
“Everything about the broadcast was a success,” Dr. Kennedy said. “But it couldn’t have happened without the help of generous corporations like Wal-Mart, the skill and effort of the people at News Channel 11, all of the event’s sponsors and the countless number of people who volunteered their time 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.