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The fourth annual GX94 and FOX FM Airwaves for Health Radiothon was a huge success raising $22,720. The annual 36-hour radiothon was held April 26th and 27th, with both radio stations broadcasting live from the Parkland Mall.

The Airwaves for Health Radiothon raised enough money that we can purchase a new birthing bed and a set of bili lights for the maternity ward in the Regional Health Centre.

• A bili light is a phototherapy tool to treat newborn jaundice which in higher levels causes brain damage leading to cerebral palsy, auditory neuropathy, and vision problems. The therapy uses a blue light that converts bilirubin so that it can be excreted. Soft eye shields are placed on the baby to protect their eyes from damage that may lead to retinopathy due to the bili lights.
• A birthing bed is used to assist a mother deliver a baby using more natural forces which consists of a tilted surface with a movable back support and a cord means which can be used by the mother to pull upward while pressing downward against biased foot supports.

Both pieces of equipment are needed partly to replace older equipment, but also because of the significant increase in the number of births taking place at the Regional Health Centre in Yorkton. In 2007 there were 669 births in the regional hospital, and in 2008 there were 744. This year we are averaging 12 babies more a month in 2010, if that continues we’d jump to 880 births this year.
The increase seems to be from young people staying here because there is work, and younger families moving to this area for work.

GX94 and FOX FM Radio host the 36 hour radiothon at no charge to The Health Foundation, absorbing all of the on-air and promotional costs so that 100% of all donations made to the Airwaves for Health Radiothon can go directly to buying medical equipment. To aid in that, Parkland Mall provides space at no charge and SaskTel provides phone lines at no charge.

“This event has become very important to The Health Foundation” said Ross Fisher, Executive Director of The Health Foundation. “Not only does the radiothon raise a significant amount of money for medical equipment, it reaches a huge amount of people creating tremendous public awareness regarding the equipment The Health Foundation is raising money for and why we need that equipment in our region.”

“But aside from the fundraising side of the radiothon we find that the public wants the information from the interviews with doctors, nurses, and therapists. The information about medical conditions, explaining those medical conditions and how those conditions can best be diagnosed is information people are really interested in hearing. I want to express our appreciation to Lyle Walsh and his staff at GX94 and FOX FM for hosting the Airwaves for Health Radiothon and for the tremendous job they do with it,” continued Mr. Fisher.

“We are very pleased to host the annual Airwaves for Health radiothon, and we are very pleased with the strong response from our listeners to the appeal for donations for this vital equipment” said Lyle Walsh, General Manager of the radio stations.

“I think the key to the success of our radiothons is that it is very clear that the equipment we are raising funds for will have an impact on our local healthcare, said Mr. Walsh. People will be generous if they can see there will be a clear benefit. This equipment will keep services local and make sure that the equipment in use in our maternity ward is current. I think that’s something we can all see the need for, and something we can support,” he continued.

“We will continue to work with The Health Foundation and hold an annual radiothon as long as the equipment we raise funds for will make an appreciable difference to our local healthcare,” said Mr. Walsh.

“We appreciate the support of all of our listeners for the support they gave this radiothon, but also the support they gave to the first three. In four years the radiothon has raised $219,400, having a very positive effect on our local healthcare. The radiothon is a very good example of what can be achieved when we all work together,” continued Mr. Walsh.

“We can’t say enough about the tremendous job that Lyle and all the staff at GX94 and FOX FM have done. The energy and enthusiasm of the on-air radio people clearly reach the public.”

“An important element of the radiothon is that it reaches all of the communities and towns that use the regional health centre in Yorkton, and because of that the radiothon becomes a truly regional fundraising event, with people and businesses from all over east central Saskatchewan and western Manitoba making contributions,” said Ross Fisher.

“I have to say Thank You to the on-air people; you truly did a marvelous job”, said Mr. Fisher. “There were many interviews with doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and speech language therapists and other medical personal. The on-air people handled those interviews very well, helping the medical staff to convey to the listeners what the equipment will really mean.”

“The success of this radiothon takes of campaign for maternity equipment half way to our goal, and that will make it much easier for us to be successful. This is a huge step forward for this campaign,” said Ross Fisher

“It was Mr. Walsh’s idea to hold the first radiothon; he had the vision to see that a radiothon could reach people and that they would respond”, said Mr. Fisher, “and he was right. Lyle demonstrated great leadership by initiating the Airwaves for Health Radiothon and we couldn’t be happier with how well it has gone,” concluded Mr. Fisher

Ross Fisher and Lyle Walsh explain the equipment that will be purchased
for the maternity ward with the Radiothon donations.

Lawrence Klemetski, President of the Yorkton Kinsmen Club
presents a cheque at the Radiothon for $2000.00.


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