One dollar doesn’t seem like a lot of money. But it has great power when joined with thousands of other dollars. That’s the way the Kids Day edition of The Fresno Bee has been able to raise almost $8 million during the 30 years it has been in existence.
Those dollars get more important every year. Valley Children’s Hospital has seen a 115 percent increase in the number of inpatient cases seen in a year, going from just over 6,000 in 1987 to almost 13,000 last year. The days that young patients have stayed in the hospital have gone from 36,000 to 75,000.
The money raised goes to different areas of the hospital and has helped the hospital:
▪ Rank as one of the best children’s hospitals in the country in neonatology, in U.S. News & World Report’s 2016-17 Best Children’s Hospitals rankings.
▪ Receive Level II Trauma designation and become the only pediatric trauma center in Central California.
▪ Expand its network. Specialty and primary care practices opened in Visalia and Fresno, and there are plans to increase efforts in Bakersfield and Modesto in the months to come. The hospital’s goal is to create more access to care for 1.3 million children in Visalia, Bakersfield, Modesto and the greater Fresno area.
▪ Manage a record volume of more than 350,000 total inpatient and outpatient visits.
▪ Support more than 122,000 visits to the Emergency Department.
▪ Perform 15,104 surgeries.
The goal this year is the loftiest ever: $625,000. That would top the record of $600,000 collected last year.
Todd Suntrapak, Valley Children’s Hospital president and chief executive officer, applauds the support Kids Day has gotten over the years.
“This, our 30th annual Kids Day, really illustrates the tremendous community support we’ve been able to grow and maintain over the years. There’s really no event like it – drawing so many people out in support of Valley Children’s. We have a record 7,000 volunteers and a record-breaking $625,000 goal. We’re really excited and grateful for all the support,” Suntrapak says.
Support starts with thousands of volunteers lining streets and roads with stacks of newspapers to sell in Fresno, Tulare, Madera, Kings, Merced and Mariposa counties.
ABC30 has been a partner in the project since its inception. Dan Adams, KFSN’s president and general manager, says: “We couldn’t be more excited and proud to celebrate its 30th anniversary. Together with The Fresno Bee and the Valley’s amazing volunteers, we think the best way to celebrate this milestone anniversary is by raising even more money for Valley Children’s Hospital and breaking last year’s all-time record.”
Tom Cullinan, publisher and president of The Fresno Bee, wants this year’s edition of Kids Day to be the best one yet.
“Kids Day is a time when the entire Valley comes together to raise money for Valley Children’s Hospital and highlight the incredible work that this hospital does for our children every day of the year. It is our pleasure to play a role in this event,” Cullinan says. “The volunteers and generous residents always come through to meet our fundraising goal.”
How to help
Make a donation to Kid’s Day at www.valleychildrens.org/kidsday.