The St. Jude Radio-a-thon has become a tradition in the community. This year marks the 28th year K Kountry has sponsored this event. Last year, it raised approximately $161,000 for the children's cancer research hospital located in Memphis, Tenn. Radio spokesperson Lynn Hobbs said, this year the goal, is to raise $170,000.
The effort to raise money for the hospital and spark the community's interest is actually a yearlong undertaking. "There are five of us that are going to visit St. Jude's on Thursday, Jan. 17, for our seminar. During that time, we tour the hospital, visit with patients
and doctors who tell us what has been going on in the past year and what they've been focusing on. It gives us the information we need to bring back and tell our listeners here," said Hobbs.
"What we are doing is challenging schools, churches and businesses to find ways to raise funds for St. Jude's," Hobbs said. Schools in the area are having principal challenges, sponsoring breakfasts or dinners and other fundraisers. "At Couch High School, the students are doing what they call a 'Sabotage' game. They have jars for each class and, if you put coins in, a penny vote for that class, but, if paper money is put in, it is a negative vote," Hobbs explained. She also said 'Penny Wars' is another com- petition based game they encourage in schools.
The Thayer fourth grade class is selling raffle tickets for a processed pig donated by Mark, Missy and Mitchell Underwood. The raffle tickets are on sale up until the radio-a-thon, and the winner will be announced during the event. Daniel and Monica Bowers have taken a personal interest in help- ing the radio-a-thon because their daughter, Madison, is a patient of St. Jude's. Daniel has made a hand crafted dresser and they are selling raffle tickets.
Many businesses in the area are joining in the effort to raise money for St. Jude's. Fred's Fish House is having a St. Jude's day on Wednesday, Feb. 6, and 100 percent of their sales will go to St. Jude's.
On the same day as the radio-a-thon, Wednesday, Feb. 14, Colton's Steak- house in West Plains, is donating 15 percent of all proceeds to St. Jude's.
Spring Dipper, located in Mammoth Spring and West Plains, has created a 'Hope Sundae,' and donaing 50 percent of sundaes sold.
S and S Homes of Glencoe is donating $1,000 for every double-wide home and $500 for every single wide home sold between now and the radio-a-thon.
H & R Block in Thayer is donating a portion of every tax income fee they complete until Feb. 13.
FNBC in Mammoth Spring has a 'Tree of Hope' on display, and anyone can go in and make a donation on it.
Alton Radio Shack is donating $25 for every new U.S. Cellular contract or renewed activation.
Mark Martin Chevrolet/GMC in Ash Flat is sponsoring a 'Cruising for the Cure' event. They will make a donation for every test drive taken between now and the radio-a-thon. "All someone has to do is stop and say, "I want to cruise for a cure," and they will make a donation. Chadwick Peterson and Russback Insurance in West Plains is giving a donation to St. Jude's for every quote it gives between now and the radio-a- thon.
Coming up on Saturday, Jan. 26, Case Auction in Thayer will have a St. Jude's Auction Night. All proceeds from the night will go to St. Jude's. The auction will be at the Thayer Christian Activity Center. A chili supper will be held at 5 p.m. and the auction will get underway at 6 p.m.
On the day of the radio- a-thon, members from the community will come to radio station to assist in taking phone calls. "Students from the schools come out to help answer phones, we have businesses that volunteer employees to help and sometimes we have volunteers come in and help our St. Jude's representatives send out pledge forms in the mail," Hobbs said. A schedule is made to ensure that help is available throughout the day, but Hobbs encourages anyone to join in on the fun and visit with the people that are there.
Aside from the pledges that are made on the phone that day, an on-air auction will be held as well. "This will be the third or fourth year for the on-air auction.
We talk about the items on air and people call in their bids, then we post the highest bid online," Hobbs said. All items in the auction are donated by local businesses.