It was a day of remembering and looking forward as WIBX hosted the 50th annual Heart Radiothon, sponsored by Slocum-Dickson Medical Group, today, Friday, March 5, to raise funds for the American Heart Association. Usually an in-person, two-day event during America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk, with a Treadmill Challenge pairing fundraising competitors, changes brought on by COVID-19 meant that the 50th annual event returned to its roots, taking place at the radio station in one day. Guests phoned in during an extended Keeler in the Morning show, chatting with Jeff Monaski and Andrew Derminio.
Some parts of the traditional event remained. Although America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk is now a digital event set for May 15, today’s Heart Radiothon took place on the traditional Heart Weekend. Radiothon committee members also secured items from the local business community to be used as giveaway incentives during the Radiothon.
The Heart Radiothon continued its most important mission, raising money for America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk. Today’s Heart Radiothon raised a total of $25,000 between sponsorship and phone-in donations.
Fundraising will continue for participants in the Treadmill Challenge, who can now compete until May 15. Participants will continue to go head-to-head with each other, but can participate in any sport they like – treadmill, running, biking, walking, for instance – and continue to raise money to go toward the Radiothon.
Donors can text WIBX to 41444 until Monday to donate to the Radiothon.
“It was an honor to chair the 50th anniversary of the Radiothon, especially given the many challenges this past year has presented,” said Morgan Mielnicki, community investment coordinator at The Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties.
“We are so grateful that despite many obstacles our community was able to come together and support such a worthwhile cause — a long-standing tradition we all hope to continue. Thank you to everyone who donated, participated, continues to advocate for heart disease awareness and overall supporting the heart healthy programming. “
“We’re so grateful to WIBX for hosing the Radiothon for 50 years,” said Steve Gassner, administrative officer at Mohawk Valley Water Authority and logistics chair of America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk. “Slocum Dickson’s continued sponsorship matters more this year than ever, as COVID has changed so many things and we moved to a different format. Heart disease is still the No. 1 killer of all Americans, and I’m proud of how our community stepped up and supported this event. People can continue to donate to the Radiothon on the Website, UticaHeartRunWalk.org. I also invite everyone to go to UticaHeartRunWalk.org and register to attend America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk on May 15. There’s been so much progress in treating heart disease and stork in the 50 years since the Radiothon began – I can’t wait to see what advances come in the next 50 years.”
“Slocum-Dickson is proud to support the American Heart Association and The Heart Radiothon,” said Anne Falchi, chief operating officer, Slocum-Dickson Medical Group. “Slocum-Dickson is committed to fostering awareness and education to help improve the health and wellness of the residents of Central New York. Over the last 50 years, the Heart Radiothon has inspired listeners to embrace their heart health. It is rewarding to see the support that the community gives to the American Heart Association. Donations made today will benefit lives for generations to come.”
Interviews during the Heart Radiothon included a conversation with Mike and Chris Allinger, grandsons of former WIBX personality Ralph Allinger, who died suddenly of a heart attack in 1971. The Radiothon was begun in his honor. Paul Ohlbaum, part of the group that dropped their donations off at WIBX as part of their regular run, also called him. Dr. James Cesare, president of Slocum-Dickson Medical Group and Breast Care Center Director; Dr. Prasanna Kumar, cardiologist at Slocum-Dickson; and Dr. Stephen Eadline, pediatrician at Slocum-Dickson, provided medical information during the Radiothon. Other sponsors, volunteers, elected officials, and community members phoned in.
Donations to the Radiothon can still be accepted at UticaHeartRunWalk.org. Choose “Find a Team” and enter “Radiothon.”
America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk will take place on Saturday, May 15. It will be a digital event, preceded by a digital Health Expo on the Facebook event page for America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk on the Facebook page @AHANewYOrk, https://www.facebook.com/events/2403653209942802/?active_tab=discussion.
Participants can register for America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk at UticaHeartRunWalk.org.