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Akron Children’s celebrates 98.1 KDD “Have a Heart, Do Your Part” Radiothon 20th anniversary

02-05-2019 (Akron, Ohio)

The 20th annual 98.1 KDD “Have a Heart, Do Your Part” Radiothon benefitting Akron Children's Hospital will broadcast live on 98.1 KDD Feb. 14-16. The Radiothon will air from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 14-15 and 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 16.

The three-day event features stories about Akron Children’s patients, including six-year-old Cam Betz from Canton. Born with hypoplastic right heart syndrome, a congenital heart defect, Cam had his first heart surgery at just eight days old and open heart surgery at seven months. Cam worked hard to achieve milestones, but his heart continued to struggle to give his body the oxygen it needed. After a third heart surgery at age four, Cam’s oxygen levels increased from 75 to 98 percent, giving him the energy he needed to attend school and keep pace with the sports and activities he loves.

“I think that’s the incredible part about Radiothon, hearing all of these inspiring stories directly from our patient families about the journey they’ve been on and how Akron Children’s has impacted their lives,” said Nicci Avalon, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals program manager at Akron Children’s.

“We paint a picture for our listeners. We tell them it doesn’t matter how much you are giving; every bit helps,” said Keith Kennedy, longtime radio host and vice president of programming for iHeartMedia.

“We try and quantify the impact by telling folks what their money will buy. If it’s $10 it may cover popsicles for kids who just had tonsil surgery, or $20 could help pay for tongue depressors,” Kennedy added.” I think that’s why our Radiothon is so successful – rather than asking for big dollars, we focus on individual gifts that any person can contribute.”

Donors can make their pledge one of three ways during the Radiothon – by calling 1-866-543-0981, texting KDD to 41444 or by visiting

“We’re grateful to KDD for their continued partnership and every year, we’re grateful for the incredible support we receive from the community,” said Avalon.

Since it began in 2000, the “Have a Heart, Do Your Part” Radiothon has raised more than $11 million for the patient care, education and research efforts at Akron Children’s.

In addition to the money raised during the three-day live broadcast, community Change Bandits have been busy collecting money which is included in the event’s total. As of Feb. 5, nearly 200 Change Bandits had signed up to collect change for Akron Children’s. In 2018, Change Bandits collected more than $100,000 for Radiothon.

For more information on the “Have a Heart, Do Your Part” Radiothon, visit

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