“Duke Children’s Hospital is in the business of providing hope. You feel it when you walk through the doors. Radiothon highlights the courage of Duke families and the generosity of the human spirit in the name of maintaining that hope.”
– WRAL-FM Morning Show Personality Bryan Lord
Thanks to the generous and kind MIX listeners, WRAL-FM raised a whopping $478,940.53 during the 2016 MIX 101.5 Radiothon for Duke Children’s Hospital! Present and past patients shared their stories, along with family members, on-air during the two-day event, broadcast live from the lobby at Duke Children’s Hospital in Durham.
WRAL-FM On-Air Personalities made pleas on air alongside special guests like Coach K from the Duke Men’s Basketball Team. WRAL-FM personality Bill Jordan came out of retirement to support the effort, spend both days on the air with MIX mainstays Jim Kelly and Diane Ramsey. WRAL-FM’s brand new morning team – Kyle Smelser, Bryan Lord and Sarah King of Two Men and a Mom, took part in their first Radiothon.
“Hands down one of the most powerful events I’ve ever been a part of,” said Smelser. “Incredibly humbled that I played a small role in making this Radiothon a success. Lastly, this would not have been possible without the courage and amazing spirits of so many Duke families willing to share their stories.”
Radiothon turned out a great way to introduce the morning trio to MIX listeners as well as being a bonding experience with the veteran on-air staff.
“I’ve been involved in Radiothon since its inception in many different capacities, but this is the first time I’ve spent so much time on the air co-hosting and doing interviews,” said Ramsey. “It was truly a privilege to be so involved and get to know the wonderful Duke staff and the amazing patients and their families, as well as our new morning team, Kyle, Brian and Sarah from ‘Two Men and a Mom.’ They’ve only been a part of the MIX 101.5 family for a few weeks, but they handled the experience like old pros! And speaking of ‘old pros,’ what a treat it was to be joined once again by the ‘father’ of our Radiothon, Bill Jordan! Those are just a few of the reasons this year’s Radiothon was so special for me.”
Kelly also enjoyed the camaraderie of the on-air staff during the big event.
“It was another amazing year!” he said. “First, we raised a bunch of money for the kids and secondly, we all got to be a part of making the phones ring this year. Each member of the air staff was on during their airshift. Normally it’s a morning show thing and the rest of us are there for support, but this year we all worked together. It was great to finally have Diane Ramsey be part of the magic and it was great to have Bill Jordan back in the fold. He has such a passion for Duke Children’s Hospital and it’s infectious. Everyone at the station worked hard to make the magic happen on the radio AND behind the scenes.”
The Radiothon is near and dear to Kelly’s heart for a very personal reason. And he’s thankful to the new additions to the MIX team who jumped in with both feet to make the 2016 fundraising effort succeed.
“I want to give a special shout out to our new morning show 2 Men and a Mom. Kyle, Bryan and Sarah were incredible during those 2 days,” said Kelly. “Their first show on MIX was August 26th and 7 shows later, they were broadcasting live from Duke Children’s Hospital. Being the father of twins that spent the first 4 months of their lives at Duke, to see the genuine passion, compassion and empathy that the three of them showed for those kids and their families…I cannot wait to see the great things they are going to do at MIX!”
“I can only say that I am honored to have been a part of the Duke Children’s Hospital Radiothon. It was so easy to see how much it means to the families who have needed the hospital over the years- and how much they want to make sure that it is there for other families if they are ever in need. I can not WAIT to go back and bring in even more money next year!”
– WRAL-FM Morning Show Personality Sarah King
The team went on the air on Wednesday, September 7th at 6am, ran through 7pm that evening, and then hit the ground running the next morning, from 6am to 6pm. The big reveal of the final total took place after the Radiothon closed. The last Power Hour included a challenge from the Littleman Foundation, who offered up to match up to $50,000, with $1 for every $1 donated by a MIX listener. The calls came in and raised $53K during that final hour.
MIX staffers worked alongside volunteers and Duke Children’s Hospital staffers to make the 2016 Radiothon happen.
“I am so inspired by the teamwork, dedication to the cause, and support for each other I witnessed during the past two days as well as the weeks of preparation in advance,” said WRAL-FM General Manager Katie Phillips. “I’m humbled to have been a part of it with the MIX 101.5 staff, and so proud of all of the hard work and effort they put in to make the station shine so brightly for an amazing cause.”
Thanks to WRAL-FM’s Justina Kruser for contributions to this capcom story and to Kruser and WRAL-FM for these capcom photos.