Children's Hospital Central California immediately became the primary hospital for dealing with sick children in the central San Joaquin Valley when it opened its doors in 1952. It has grown with each passing year, to the point of treating 128,678 patients in 2013 (115,828 out-patients and 12,850 in-patients).
That's why the money you spent to buy the Kids Day publication is so vital. Located on a 50-acre campus with a medical staff of more than 550 physicians, the hospital has become the choice for Fresno children and patients from an area that covers 45,000 square miles. In the course of a year, hospital officials say one in 10 kids in the region will visit Children's.
Your $1 — or often a donation of more per paper — goes toward helping the hospital treat patients with the best staff, equipment and facilities possible.
One dollar may not sound like a lot, but it makes a difference. In the 26 years that Kids Day has been around, more than $6.3 million has been raised through the annual event that is a joint effort of The Fresno Bee and ABC30 (KFSN, Channel 30.1).
The goal for this year is the loftiest ever at $500,000. That would top the record of more than $480,000 collected last year.
"For more than 60 years we have served the children of the San Joaquin Valley, treating conditions ranging from asthma to the most complex cardiac issues in premature infants — all right here in the heart of California. Children's is a very special place, like no other in Central California," says Todd Suntrapak, chief executive officer and president of the hospital.
"What makes Children's special is our extraordinary team of specially trained pediatric doctors, nurses, pharmacists and many other clinical professionals who have a passion and calling in life to heal children.
"Each year we are humbled by the support we receive from the communities we serve. Thank you for supporting Children's Hospital again this year. But more importantly, thank you for supporting the health and well being of Central California's children."
Tom Cullinan, publisher and president of The Bee, says Kids Day continues to be one of the most important community fundraisers.
"For the past 27 years, thousands of dedicated organizations, businesses and Valley residents have sold papers to support Children's Hospital and the health care services they provide for the children of the Central Valley," Cullinan says. "The goal this year is to raise a half million dollars for Children's Hospital of Central California and I'm confident with the support of our volunteers we can achieve this all-time high in contributions."
Support for the annual event starts with thousands of volunteers lining streets and roads with stacks of newspapers to sell in Fresno, Tulare, Madera, Kings, Merced and Mariposa counties. KFSN President and General Manager Dan Adams is confident Valley residents will continue to show their support for the children.
"ABC30 could not be more excited to be a part of Kids Day again this year. This Valley-wide event makes it easy for thousands of people to participate and help children in our community," Adams says.
"It only takes $1 to make a difference and ensure that Children's Hospital Central California can continue to provide state-of-the-art care to sick and injured children. I am looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish this year."
TV and movie critic Rick Bentley can be reached at (559) 441-6355, firstname.lastname@example.org or @RickBentley1 on Twitter. Read his blog at fresnobeehive.com.