Kids Day

It's Kids Day; fundraising goal set at $550,000

The 29th edition of Kids Day will be on sale Tuesday, with thousands of volunteers lining streets in the San Joaquin Valley selling special editions of The Bee. Their goal: raise $550,000 for Valley Children’s Hospital.

That would break the record of $545,546.40 collected last year during the Kids Day fundraiser.

“Kids Day is such an important event in so many ways, but especially in its ability to draw the community together in such a meaningful way. This year will be our biggest Kids Day yet – a record 6,000 volunteers will be spread around the Valley,” Valley Children’s Hospital President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Suntrapak says.

Kids Day has raised $7.3 million over the past 28 years for the not-for-profit hospital that serves children and patients from an area that covers 11 counties and more than 45,000 square miles.

The Bee and ABC30 joined forces in 1988 to start what would become the annual Kids Day publication to benefit Valley Children’s Hospital. That year, $56,000, a little more than one-tenth the amount that is the target for this year’s fundraiser, was raised.

Kids Day fundraising helps provide the most advanced technology, recruit the best pediatric specialists, improve care and services for the most complex patients and develop pediatric specialty programs. Last year, Valley Children’s Hospital had 120,000 visits to the emergency room, making it the busiest pediatric facility of its kind in the entire state.

The Kids Day section annually highlights the people, programs and facilities that make Valley Children’s Hospital special.

In the past, many people have given more than the $1 suggested price, some making donations because of a personal connection to the hospital that sits on 50 acres in Madera County just north of the San Joaquin River. Some have been treated there. Others have had a child, relative or friend who needed treatment.

If you don’t see one of the volunteers, there are other ways to help. Text KIDSDAY to 41444 to make a donation or go to the Valley Children’s Hospital website.

Rick Bentley: 559-441-6355, @RickBentley1