MIX 101.5 Staffers Honored at First-Ever Miracles in Media Awards
WRAL-FM’s Vanna Fox (left) & Bill Jordan accept a Miracle in Media Award from the Children’s Miracle Network.
In February 2008, WRAL-FM ended their most successful Radiothon ever, raising an astounding $1,175,759.71 for the kids at Duke Children’s Hospital. The celebration filled the lobby of the hospital as the confetti flew at the final announcement. Recently WRAL-FM MIX 101.5 got to celebrate about Radiothon again, this time in Florida at the first ever Miracles in Media awards ceremony.
MIX Staffers Honored, Celebration Continues
WRAL-FM Morning Show Executive Producer Wayne Michaels and WRAL-FM Production Director Lori Rentsch both were nominated for their outstanding work with montages. Michaels won in the “Staff Story – Radio” division for his work on the “Password” montage. Rentsch was nominated for her piece “Memorial for Lindsay.”
WRAL-FM’s Bill Jordan (l to r) & Vanna Fox interview Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton. The gold medallist is a supporter of CMN.
“Every year the Radiothon for Duke Children’s Hospital is very much a team effort,” said Rentsch. “There are many of us working behind the scenes to put together promos, liners, montages, whatever we can do to help make the phones ring. Over the years, I’ve learned that people are motivated by different things. A sad piece might make one person pick up the phone, while a happy one might make someone else, which is why we strive to do a variety of types of pieces. All of them, though, start with heart-felt, very real moments that occur with children, family members, medical staff, and our own staff.”
WRAL-FM Morning Show Co-Host Bill Jordan & Asst Morning Show Producer Vanna Fox traveled to Orlando for the March 13-15, 2008, event, along with Kristen Johnson from the Duke Development Office. While there, the MIX duo interviewed several of stars who support CMN, including Marie Osmond. The Osmond Family founded the CMN in 1983.
The CMN Miracles in Media event highlighted the various ways radio and television stations around the world highlight CMN’s children’s hospitals. Neil Flynn, star the hit NBC show “Scrubs” hosted the “Miracles in Media” awards event.
“As Production Director, I have been often credited as having done all of our montages, when it has always been a group effort. [WRAL-FM’s] Jami Elizondo, Wayne Michaels, and Jim Kelly have produced many themselves. We start with the magic that we hear, we share ideas and song suggestions, and try to create pieces that we hope will last a lifetime.”
-WRAL-FM Production Director Lori Rentsch
The History of Radiothon
Former WRAL-FM General Manager Bob Lind started the MIX 101.5 Radiothon for Duke Children’s Hospital over 15 years ago. He then moved to Children’s Miracle Network in 1997, where he is Radiothon President. Lind brought the concept of Radiothon with him to CMN and has since amassed more than 337 stations who now participate in Radiothons each year, raising more than $275 million to date for children’s hospitals.
WRAL-FM’s Bill Jordan (bottom, l to r) & Vanna Fox pose for a shot with Duke’s Kristen Johnson (top, l to r) & CMN founder Marie Osmond.
“He knew from experience that Radiothons are quality broadcasting that can create a unique image for radio stations—“ said CMN, “an image that says this is the station that cares for kids.”
MIX 101.5’s Radiothon is actually the second radiothon to start in the world, and MIX is older than the partnership between CMN and Radiothons.
MIX raises more per capita in our Radiothon than any other in the world. The station has raised over $1 million for the past two years, and well over $9 million in all the years combined. MIX only missed one year of doing a radiothon since the event’s inception, and that was the year of Hurricane Katrina.
About Children’s Miracle Network
Children’s Miracle Network is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children by raising funds for children’s hospitals across North America. Each year the 170 Children’s Miracle Network hospitals provide the finest medical care, life-saving research and preventative education to help millions of kids overcome diseases and injuries of every kind.
Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, Children’s Miracle Network has grown dramatically since its founding in 1983, from a televised fund raiser in a small studio to one of the world’s leading children’s charities helping 17 million kids each year.
- Password (mp3)
Produced by WRAL-FM’s Wayne Michaels
A winner in the Staff Story category, Password is “a very special story that a nurse told about two patients who wanted to know how they would know each other when they got to heaven,” explained Rentsch. “Wayne put it to ‘Tears In Heaven,’ and it is an incredibly moving story. I think it is wonderful that this special piece won an award.”
- Memorial for Lindsay (mp3)
Produced by WRAL-FM’s Lori Rentsch
A finalist this year in the “Memorial” category, FM put together this piece in memory of two-year-old Lindsey, who passed away. Her parents were right at the Radiothon a couple months after her funeral to tell their story, to support Duke, and to even donate money themselves.
“I heard [WRAL-TV Anchor] David Crabtree say on air during this Radiothon that it really got to him when he heard in a montage a father whose voice cracked when he described how important something so simple as a meal ticket meant,” said Rentsch. “I heard the Mom of Sherilynn, who passed away in November express how wonderful it was for her to hear her daughter’s voice on a montage that [WRAL-FM Copywriter/Air Personality] Jami Elizondo put together two years ago. She expressed how she ‘never wanted it to end.’ We have all heard over the years how important it is to the families involved with Duke to share their stories. These montages are a way for us to tell and re-tell stories of courage, faith, love, kindness, and generosity in ways that we hope will help motivate people to give to a very noble cause.”