Efforts gearing up to help hospitals radiothon

Sue Guinn Legg • Feb 13, 2014 at 4:38 PM

The second-annual Niswonger Children’s Hospital Radiothon is gearing up. Area schools, businesses and clubs have already begun fundraising in advance of the two-day event and the Mountain States Foundation is encouraging others to join in.The radiothon will air from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 3-4 on 98.5 WTFM, Classic Hits 102.7 WVEK, 95.9 The Hog, FM94! WMEV and local ESPN Radio.Last year, its inaugural run raised more than $125,000 for syringe pumps in continuous need at the children’s hospital. Encouraged by that success, the foundation is set to do it all again and is hoping to see even greater participation.This year’s radiothon volunteers have already brought in more than $10,000 in donations through activities including a week long “Change for Kids” coin collection in area schools. School groups, clubs, businesses and individual volunteers have conducted bake sales, staged a hot dog giveaway, operated lemonade stands, set up a dunking booth and taken part in the athletic challenges to help the cause and more are set to join the effort.On Saturday, Tri-Cities area Arby’s restaurants will donate a portion of all sales made at each of their 15 Tri-Cities locations. And on March 1, the Sport Clips shops in Johnson City and Kingsport will donate 25 percent of their proceeds.Momentum is still building and the foundation is spreading the word that it’s still not too late for others to be involved. Cookie McKinney, manager of the foundation’s Children’s Initiatives, said fundraising teams, business sponsors and individual volunteers can play a valuable role in helping the children’s hospital and encouraged anyone interested in forming a team, helping the radiothon as business sponsor or manning the phone lines during the two day event to visit www.mountainstatesfoundation.org/radio-thon or call her at 431-1224 or committee chair Don Raines at 791-9191 for more information.Fundraising teams, businesses and individual contributors will be invited to present their donations or announce their totals during the broadcast live on the air from the children’s hospital lobby or by phone by calling 855-611-5437.The annual Changing Lives Concert for American Red Cross of Northeast is coming up March 6 at Greeneville First Baptist Church.For the sixth consecutive year, The Kingdom Heirs, the chart-topping Southern gospel singers from Dollywood, will headline the show.Tickets are $15 each and may be purchased in advance at Heritage Community Bank’s Greeneville locations, First Baptist Church of Greeneville and the Greeneville Red Cross office.Proceeds will help the Red Cross provide shelter, food, clothing and emotional support to victims of local house fires and natural disasters, teach life-saving skills to area first responders and volunteers, provide emergency communication between local members of the U.S. armed forces and their families and bolster the nation’s blood supply.To reserve a ticket or for more information about the concert, call the 638-6441.Long John Silvers on South Roan Street is partnering with the First United Methodist Church pantry to help the increasing number of local families and individuals in need of supplemental food assistance.The restaurant’s “Feed the Hungry Program” will kick off Feb. 22 with the distribution of 400 coupons for Long John Silvers’ fish or chicken meals. The distribution will be held from noon to 2 p.m. at the pantry located in the church annex building at the corner of West Maple and Buffalo streets.The program will continue at the pantry with the distribution of 200 meal coupons on the fourth Saturday of each month for the next six months. Its goal is to help families and individuals who struggle for food through the remaining winter and spring months before locally grown produce becomes available to help meet the need.If there is a need or a project in your neighborhood the Good Neighbor column can assist with, contact Sue Guinn Legg at slegg@johnsoncitypress.com, P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605 1717 or 929-3111, ext. 335.

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