The Vernon radio station with heart is gearing up for its annual radiothon.
The 16th annual Sun FM Have a Heart Radiothon runs Thursday, April 25, with on-air personalities Jerhett Schafer and Betty Selin broadcasting live from the main entrance of the Village Green Centre from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“Sun FM is committed to helping children in the North Okanagan, ensuring that they have access to the best healthcare possible,” said Selin.
This year’s goal is to raise funds to support maternal child care by purchasing new and replacing outdated equipment to care for newborns and their moms. Some of the currently used equipment hasn’t been replaced in more than 20 years. The station will be raising funds for: two newborn isolettes, one transcutaneous bilimeter, and 12 baby bassinettes.
The isolettes are used for newborns needing additional support after birth, such as regulating their temperature and providing them with light that simulates the sun’s rays to help lower their bilirubin.
The transcutaneous bilimeter is an incredible monitor that will decrease the amount of blood draws (needle pokes) a baby will receive following birth. Newborns can receive anywhere between three-to-five pokes, but with this monitor, the number of pokes can be reduced to one-to-three. VJH is one of the only hospitals within Interior Health that does not have this piece of equipment.
New bassinettes will be much lighter in weight, more mobile, and height adjustable, making it easier for a new mother to be close to her baby, especially after surgeries.
Clarence Fulton Secondary School students will be holding the 9th annual Breakfast Bags for Babies on April 25 from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. All proceeds will be donated to the radiothon in support of VJH Foundation. Be on the lookout for enthusiastic Fulton students at the lights by Okanagan Landing Road and Fulton Road. Students will be located at various intervals along OK Landing Road in the direction of the Flower Spot and the Landing Plaza.
“They have prepared 200 breakfast bags for sale by donation and the bags will be filled with goodies; fruit, granola bars, muffins and coffee coupons,” said Selin. “Breakfast items have been donated by generous, local businesses. Stop by to grab a nutritious breakfast and to support a great cause.”
Regardless of the amount, all donations and challenges will be acknowledged on-air during the radiothon. There will be an opportunity for businesses and individuals to challenge others in our community and acknowledge the exceptional care received at Vernon Jubilee Hospital.
“Radiothon is one of my favourite days of the year,” said Selin. “We see many of the same families every year and have watched children born at VJH grow into teenagers. I love how the community comes together every year to share their stories and remind us how lucky we are to have this amazing facility and incredible staff to support local families.
“I can’t wait to see everyone again this year, especially the babies.”
It will be Schafer’s first radiothon.
“Having had the chance to tour the maternity ward at VJH, along with some of the nurses, it was clear how important the equipment upgrades are,” he said. “The hospital staff are so passionate about helping to bring so many children into this world, and they want to do it with the best possible care. Let’s make sure that happens on April 25th.”
Donations can be dropped off in person at the main door of the Village Green Centre (6 a.m. to 6 .p.m), pledged by Visa or MasterCard by calling 250-549-1057 or donate online at www.vjhfoundation.org.
Since 2004, Sun FM Have a Heart Radiothon has raised $766,773 for children at VJH.