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20th Annual Alice Cares for Kids Radiothon Raises $1.45 Million for Children’s Colorado

Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation hosted their 20th annual Alice Cares for Kids Radiothon on February 10th and 11th, 2021 – but it looked much different than the previous 19 years.

The event celebrated this milestone anniversary virtually; a first for the Denver radiothon. Alice 105.9 radio jockeys, producers, and staff were on their home turf in the Entercom studios, and only three representatives from Children’s Colorado Foundation were in attendance. A vast difference from the usual chaos and excitement of five hundred staff and volunteers in the hospital atrium.

Calista, one of the 2021 featured patient stories during the Alice Cares for Kids Radiothon

To help recreate some of the in-person magic in this new format, the studio was overwhelmingly decorated in Radiothon ornamentation: streamers, balloons, snacks donated by Sam’s Club, banners, blown-up photos from the early years of the event, confetti, more snacks, noise-makers, cardboard cutouts of the featured patients, signs with facts about the history of the hospital and the Radiothon event, a red carpet, more snacks… the space was totally transformed, and no one went hungry.

Mike Peterson, VP of Programming and Operations at Entercom Denver, said the décor “provided a lift of energy and focus to reinforce the mindset of WHY we do this.” He said “this Radiothon WOULD NOT have been the same without [it].”

Although the visual appeal was exciting, the event is a Radiothon, after all – as in, the listeners won’t ever get to see the space. What matters most is the stories of hope and healing from families at Children’s Colorado that are broadcasted over the airwaves.

Tri-State on their volunteer Zoom session with the Alice radio talent

In amazing collaboration between the Children’s Colorado Foundation team and the Alice 105.9 producers and talent, the event came to life. Twelve new patient stories were featured – including three “throwbacks” from the first years of Radiothon – each of which included a call-in interview with the jockeys. Generous sponsors came to the table: longtime supporters include Marriott Colorado Hotels Business Council, Safeway, Big-O Tires, Comcast, Dion’s, and Tri-State, along with newer partners like Douglas County Libraries, Mortenson, Steele Bros Heating & Armstrong Air, Mile High Honda, Bachus & Schanker, and Castle Rock Autoplex.

Corporate partners didn’t stop at sponsorships and monetary donations. Panda Express, Dairy Queen, and Dion’s all donated food for Children’s Colorado caregivers during the week of the event to acknowledge and celebrate the frontline staff.

Volunteers were given the opportunity to join a live Zoom hour with the jockeys and play virtual bingo. Stories of miracles were shared, triple matches were offered, tears were shed, and hundreds of ordinary heroes became Miracle Makers.

In an effort to produce a magical final check presentation at the conclusion of the 2-day, 12-hour event, a car parade was held below the 11th floor studio in the parking lot. Families and Foundation staff lined up their cars in adjacent parking spots facing the high-rise studio, and each car placed one number on a 3’x5′ poster on their windshield to collectively display the final total: $1.45 million. The radio jockeys and staff cheered loudly as the cars honked their horns and flashed their lights, including the Children’s Hospital Colorado Balloon Boy truck with emergency lights and sirens. Some families leaned out their windows to wave glow sticks in the air to acknowledge the talent… in 7-degree weather.

Left to right: Jenny Orren, Corporate Partnerships Coordinator, Kacie Thomas, Corporate Partnerships Manager, Kali Wallace, Corporate Partnerships Senior Manager and event lead

“It’s amazing to see the community continue to come together after 20 years for Children’s Colorado” says Kali Wallace, Senior Manager of Corporate Partnerships at Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation and event lead of radiothon. “We’re especially grateful for the partnership with Entercom and Alice 105.9 for providing the platform to share these incredible stories.”

From all of us at Children’s Hospital Colorado: thank you to everyone at Alice 105.9 for being our 20-year partner, and of course, the listeners and Miracle Makers of the Alice Cares for Kids Radiothon. You continue to help create Miracles at Children’s Hospital Colorado.