Kapiolani's 2019 Radiothon for Kids Breaks Records with an Incredible $300,138 Finish


Group of children cheering and holding a ceremonial check for $300,138

The community continues to support the Kapiolani Radiothon for Kids one gift at a time and the 2019 results are remarkable with $300,138 raised in two days. For the 13th straight year individuals and organizations from across the state rallied together to contribute to Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children, Hawaii’s only full-service children's hospital. For 28 hours on-air, radio listeners tuned in to KSSK 92.3FM/AM 590 to hear inspiring stories about how Kapiolani cares for some of the most medically fragile children and their families. Kapiolani has partnered with KSSK since 2006 to take to the airwaves with live broadcasts that bring awareness and funding to programs and services for pediatric medicine. The 2019 results bring the overall total amount raised to $2 million in the event’s history. 

“Radiothon for Kids is a magical moment at the hospital each year full of tears and cheers,” said Martha Smith, chief executive officer at Kapiolani. “KSSK and Kapiolani have a long history together and the community always responds so generously by giving during Radiothon. We couldn't do what we do for Hawaii’s keiki without the support of our donors.”

Donations support Hawaii’s only Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospital with 100 percent of every dollar raised staying in the islands to help local keiki with programs and services that would not otherwise be possible.

The presenting sponsor for the 2019 Radiothon for Kids was D. Suehiro Electric, Inc. The company and its staff are dedicated supporters of Kapiolani. This year marked the company’s third year participating in the event. D. Suehiro Electric employees raised a record-setting $37,310 for the medical center during their hour-and-a-half volunteer time on the phone bank and collection of online pledges.

“We continue to come back because this is such a meaningful fundraiser for Kapiolani,” said Kehau Yokoi, project estimator for D. Suehiro Electric, Inc. “The biggest thing that I took away from this experience was the amount of listeners who were perceptive to calling and giving towards specialized care for local kids. To hear how many of our clients and people in the community wanted to donate was overwhelming.”

Contributions go toward ongoing wish list items for the hospital, including a new program this year that will help celebrate the milestones and miracle moments patients experience. One wish was fulfilled when D. Suehiro Electric, Inc., donated two fully stocked Room Decorating and Comfort carts to Kapiolani’s Child Life Services department.

For hospitalized keiki, these carts will provide supplies to decorate their room for any occasion from birthdays to the last chemotherapy procedure. The carts, which are created for both infants and teens, include items such as wall hooks, colorful posters, picture frames, speakers, blankets and endless crafting supplies for custom decorations. Even while hospitalized, Kapiolani staff want to ensure that keiki have the opportunity to experience special moments as well as feel at home.

An important milestone moment that happened live on air was the celebration of one of Radiothon’s hardest working volunteers, Michael W. Perry. The legendary KSSK radio personality received a standing ovation from more than 100 Kapiolani staff members and KSSK colleagues for reaching his 36th anniversary on-air with KSSK to the very day. Perry is also a pioneer for this event, as an original radio personality for the Radiothon for Kids since the event’s inaugural year in 2006.

“What an unexpected surprise but what a great way to celebrate at Radiothon,” said Perry. “One of the things we enjoy about this event is seeing the whole Kapiolani gang get together. They've got the phone bank people, the families, the nurses and doctors who come by just to say ‘hi’ and it's been like this for 13 years. It makes us feel good, and we just love the energy in this room.”

KSSK radio personalities and community partners play a significant role in ensuring Radiothon's annual success. This year’s sponsors include D. Suehiro Electric, Inc., Holokai Catamaran, AlohaCare, HMSA, Enterprise, GEICO, Pacific Guardian Life, Coastal Windows and UHA Health Insurance. Kapiolani was also honored to welcome new partners Zippy’s Restaurants, Enterprise and D. Otani Produce.

Every year Radiothon volunteers and partners present unique fundraising initiatives at the event. This year, Kapiolani Medical Center leaders hosted “Spin the Wheel for Miracle Kids,” a 30-minute fitness challenge. Staff spun a wheel with different options for specific exercises that could be done for every $25 donation. Mike Sapp Fitness donated $500 towards the activity as well as served as trainers for the Kapiolani teams.

Event organizer iHeartRadio Honolulu is proud of Radiothon’s impact on the local community as Kapiolani fulfills its mission of creating a healthier Hawaii. All gifts received go toward providing exceptional care and innovative research at Kapiolani that can keep Hawaii families stay close to home for their care. As a not-for-profit medical center, Kapiolani treats kids no matter their illness or injury regardless of a family’s ability to pay.

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Liz Chun Uyehara