ESTEVAN — The St. Joseph's Hospital Foundation is counting down the days to one of its biggest fundraisers of the year.
The Radiothon for Life will take place on June 7 near the entrance to the hospital's long-term care area. The event will run from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. and will air on Golden West Broadcasting's three radio stations in Estevan: CJ 1150, Sun 102.3 and Rock 106.
Executive director Lori Gervais said they are working on making the event a little bigger and better, with bouncy castles in the park for the kids. The fundraiser used to start at 6 a.m. and run for 12 hours, but since the event will run an hour later than normal, there will be barbecue lunch and suppers this year, as opposed to just a lunch.
"There are people who like to come in person, and we've heard in the past that getting there after work by 6 is sometimes harder for people to do, so this way it will give people a little more opportunity to get there before 7," said Gervais.
Other people in the past have thought the barbecue was an all-day event, and now it will be.
The foundation received a donation of $10,000 from Whitecap Resources to kick off the fundraising. Gervais has also sent a letter to past donors, and they have lots of people who like to send in their contributions in the mail, which has given them a good start to fundraising.
Some of the schools do some fundraising as well. Gervais said they never know ahead of time what they're interested in or doing. The foundation looks forward to the schools showing up the day of the radiothon to make a presentation while on air.
"They can be pretty creative with the things that they do," said Gervais.
Proceeds from the radiothon will go to the emergency room, which Gervais said is in need of upgrades.
"They do have a list of equipment that needs to be updated, and technology these days keeps things needing to be updated and upgraded."
They don't have a goal for this year, but the donation from Whitecap Resources gave them a good head start. She noted the totals have wavered over the years.
The event raised $110,175 last year.
This year's event marks the second straight year the radiothon has been held in the parking lot outside of long-term care. It was at the hospital for a number of years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but they couldn't have people in the hospital due to restrictions, so the fundraiser was set up outside the radio stations' building in 2020 and 2021.
"One thing we missed being over there [at the hospital] was the staff involvement of the hospital, so last year we tried a new location and that's the parking lot of the hospital, not the main parking lot, but along the side of the park by the long-term care entrance," Gervais said.
She looks forward to seeing everyone at the fundraiser.
The radiothon would move into the hospital if the weather doesn't co-operate.
Supporters can donate by dropping by the hospital, calling the pledge line or visiting www.radiothonforlife.com.