MEMPHIS, Tenn., March 27, 2015 — Radio One’s national network of praise stations, along with celebrity radio hosts Yolanda Adams, Tom Joyner, Willie Moore, Jr. and Lonnie Hunter, all lent their voices to help the fight against sickle cell disease, childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
Recently, they partnered with other inspirational music stations across the country to raise more than $1.4 millionfor kids at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® during the eighth annual Radio Cares for St. Jude Kids®national radio broadcast event designed to increase the community’s awareness and support of St. Jude.
Radio One, a diversified media company with 54 broadcast stations in 16 markets, a syndication business (Reach Media), an online platform (Interactive One), a cable network (TV One) and creative brand content agency (One Solution) – all of which primarily target urban listeners – is the top supporter of the annual radio fundraising event.
Radio One’s partners and celebrity friends continued to drum up awareness and support for St. Jude by sharing the hospital’s mission through testimonies of patient families and the latest news about groundbreaking research, advances in treatment and the lifesaving work conducted there. This year’s top fundraising stations are WPZE, Praise 102.5 in Atlanta, WPPZ, Praise 103.9 in Philadelphia and WPRS, Praise 104.1 in Washington, D.C.Since 2008, the event has raised nearly $10 million in cash and pledges.
“Radio One is a proud partner of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and we are particularly proud of our highly engaged and loyal listeners for responding to our call and exceeding our financial goal this year. This national radio event proves the continued power of radio to emotionally connect with listeners and move them to action. In this case, the action is literally life-saving for thousands of children,” said Chris Wegmann, president of the Radio Division, Radio One, Inc.
All participating stations encouraged listeners to become St. Jude Partners in Hope by making a $20 monthly pledge. Beginning at 6 a.m. ET, Yolanda Adams, Grammy Award-winning gospel artist and host of her own show, started the day strong with a high energy, celebrity appearance by gospel singer Erica Campbell, followed by the story of St. Jude patient Bella.
In late 2013, when three-year-old Bella developed pain in her hip, the doctor thought it might be due to arthritis. But tests revealed something more serious: She was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare cancerous tumor. When Bella’s father and grandmother learned they would never receive a bill for her treatment – including surgery, chemotherapy and an antibody treatment – travel, housing or food, a weight was lifted from their shoulders.
“St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is very dear to my heart, and a cause our audiences and staff genuinely connect with year after year,” said Yolanda Adams. “My family and I continue to be blessed, inspired and moved by these families that represent faith, strength and love.”
Radio One Urban AC and News stations in Charlotte, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis and St. Louis, in addition to Emmis Broadcasting’s WLIB in New York, and WTHB and WAKB in Augusta, Georgiaalso joined the chorus of stations and talent supporting this year’s national fundraising effort.
Additionally, TV One aired event-specific St. Jude promotional spots and screen swipes that helped to drive viewers to tune in and donate. Social engagement on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram also helped support the on-air content.
“We greatly appreciate our partnership with Radio One, which enables us to harness a vast network of music stations and celebrity supporters and leverage the power of gospel music to support the lifesaving mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital,” said Richard Shadyac Jr., President and CEO for ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “The Radio Cares for St. Jude Kids program is a remarkable opportunity to celebrate the true spirit of giving while raising funds and awareness to help us find cures for children fighting cancer and other life-threatening diseases.”
Because the majority of St. Jude funding comes from individual contributors and programs like Radio Cares for St. Jude Kids, families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food, so families can focus on what matters most – helping their child live. Thanks to the support of generous donors, the hospital has the freedom to focus on saving kids regardless of their financial situation.
This year’s event welcomed support from groups and celebrity music artists, including: Michelle Williams, Anthony Brown, Dewayne Woods, Raheem Devaughn, Ricky Dillard, and Jakalyn Carr. Other participating celebrities included television host Roland Martin, actress Tachina Arnold, comedienne Luenell, and radio personality and reality television star Claudia Jordan – who all volunteered their time at Radio One affiliate stations across the country answering phones from callers pledging to become St. Jude Partners in Hope.