Every parent hopes their child never gets sick. The reality is, the odds are high that a child is going to need medical attention along the way. When health problems get serious, Valley Children’s Hospital has become a primary source of health help in Central California.
A total of 125,117 youngsters were treated by the hospital in 2014. That includes almost 100,000 patients in the emergency room.
That’s why the money you spend to buy a Kids Day special publication is so vital. A dollar might not seem like a lot, but when it is added to the thousands that are collected, it can make a big difference to “The Children’s Fund,” which allocates resources when and where they’re needed most at the hospital.
Previous donations have helped provide the most advanced technology, recruit the best pediatric specialists, improve care and services for the most complex patients, and develop the pediatric specialty programs.
The hospital, which started in Fresno in 1952, is today on a 50-acre campus in Madera with a medical staff of more than 550 physicians. It serves children and patients from an area that covers 11 counties and more than 45,000 square miles. In the course of a year, hospital officials say one in 10 kids in the region will visit Valley Children’s.
In the 27 years that Kids Day has been around, more than $6.8 million has been raised through the annual event that is a joint effort of The Fresno Bee and ABC30 (KFSN, Channel 30.1).
The fundraising goal this year is the loftiest ever at $530,000. That would top the record of more than $506,000 collected last year.
Recently, the hospital reverted back to the name Valley Children’s Hospital. President and CEO Todd Suntrapak said that no matter what name is used, the quality of care never changes.
“But renewal of our historic name was another way of reminding ourselves that re-dedication and renewal of purpose is the way in which progress builds on treasured tradition. Even with the highest standards of care, we’re not satisfied unless we continue always to strive for the next level,” Suntrapak said. “The families who have relied upon us for generations to make their kids smile again can be assured that there is a refreshed spirit at Valley Children’s to fulfill our mission.
“We’re grateful, again, for the support that our communities give back to us so we can work, still harder, to return it with the singular professional care that the entire Valley deserves.”
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.
“We look forward to the 28th anniversary of Kids Day by once again joining together with The Fresno Bee and all the wonderful volunteers to raise funds for the health of our Valley’s children. Just $1 is all it takes to help sick and injured children receive state-of-the-art care at Valley Children’s Hospital,” Adams said. “Last year, over 5,000 volunteers helped Kids Day break all records, and I’m excited to see what happens this year.”
Tom Cullinan, publisher and president of The Bee, said Kids Day continues to be one of the most important community fundraisers.
“For the past 28 years, thousands of dedicated organizations, businesses and Valley residents have sold papers to support Valley Children’s Hospital and the health-care services they provide for all of the children in the Central Valley,” Cullinan said. “Our goal this year is to raise more than a half million dollars for Valley Children’s Hospital, and I’m confident with the support of our volunteers and generous Valley residents, we can achieve this all-time high in contributions.”