Sweet Charity

Kandace McLaughlin, HealthLeaders Media , July 30, 2008

The usually talkative radio hosts of ESPN's Mike and Mike morning show fell silent when they heard the news from Medical City Children's Hospital CFO Timothy Burroughs at the end of the station's fundraising drive for cancer research. "We're just totally inspired with what you guys are doing with cancer research and the V Foundation," Burroughs said. "So we've agreed to match the winning bid."

ESPN, as part of its fundraising efforts for the Jimmy V Foundation, were auctioning an opportunity to broadcast the Mike and Mike show from the winning bidder's home. The winning bid was $57,100. Just as the winner was being announced on-air, the radio hosts received that unexpected call from Burroughs, along with the hospital's vice president and COO, Scott Schmidly.

Medical City Children's Hospital, a 139-bed pediatric hospital in Dallas, jumped at the chance to help raise money for cancer research while earning some positive PR. Besides helping out a good cause, Medical City got mainstream media exposure, and positive word-of-mouth exposure. The Mike and Mike show will broadcast not only from the winning bidder's home, but also will do a show from the hospital—yet another opportunity to spread a little community cheer, build goodwill, and even give patients and their families a memorable and positive experience.

"Having the Mike and Mike experience at our hospital, which can be a second home to so many children, seemed a great way to offer a psychological recess for our pediatric patients and their families from the daily challenges they face when dealing with cancer," says Schmidly.

The fundraising will not stop with this donation and the subsequent event, of course. "One of our goals is to continue the fundraising efforts. We really hope that the awareness will inspire others to contribute and that our final donation will exceed our matching bid," says Burroughs.

The other goal is to continue to raise awareness. "The more awareness there is, the more we hope people will reach into their pockets to help," says Schmidly.

Kandace McLaughlin is an editor with HealthLeaders magazine. Send her Campaign Spotlight ideas at kmclaughlin@healthleadersmedia.com If you are a marketer submitting a campaign on behalf of your facility or client, please ensure you have permission before doing so.

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