UPDATE: As of 3 p.m. Wednesday, the total raised was $294,953 with much more counting yet to be done.
The 32nd annual Kids Day to benefit Valley Children’s Hospital went on Tuesday despite rain across central San Joaquin Valley.
The hospital said about 8,000 volunteers hit the streets selling special editions of The Fresno Bee for a $1 donation.
The hospital has raised about $9.2 million in Kids Day donations since the first event held more than 30 years ago. The Bee and ABC30 have continued their partnership that began in 1988 to provide Kids Day coverage and tell of the massive event’s impact on the Valley’s children.
Students at more than 235 schools (elementary to university) from Modesto to Porterville were among the volunteers donning orange vests and standing at street corners. The special Kids Day section tells stories of the hospital’s successes including a cover story about this year’s Kids Day ambassador.
This year’s Kids Day fundraising goal is $625,000. First-day returns totaled $142,327, said Zara Arboleda, director of communications and public relations for the parent Valley Children’s Healthcare. She noted that counting will continue for several days as donations are collected from the hospital’s coverage region.
The hospital says Valley Children’s put last year’s donations toward buying state-of-the-art equipment including the region’s first EOS imaging system, which produces full-body 3D images while exposing children to significantly less radiation; providing care for more than 288,000 outpatient cases; performing more than 12,700 surgeries and supporting 114,000 emergency room visits.