Something to sing about: Radio One raises more than $1.3 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

by LP Green, II

Radio One’s network of stations, along with celebrity radio hosts Yolanda Adams and James Fortune, have something special to sing about.

On April 3, they partnered with other inspirational music stations to raise more than $1.3 million for kids fighting cancer, sickle cell and other deadly diseases at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital during the seventh annual Radio Cares for St. Jude Kids national radio broadcast.

Radio One, a diversified media company with 54 broadcast stations in 16 markets, a syndication business, an online platform and a cable network – all of which primarily target African-American and urban listeners – is the top supporter of the annual radio fundraising event.

By sharing St. Jude patient family stories and highlights of breakthroughs in research and treatment at St. Jude, radio partners continue to share the hospital’s mission and generate awareness and support for the lifesaving work being done there. Since 2008, the event has raised more than $8 million in cash and pledges. Grammy Award-winning gospel artist Yolanda Adamskicked off the celebration at 6 a.m. ET on the Yolanda Adams Morning Show, while Grammy Award-nominated music artist James Fortune wrapped up the radiothon at 11 p.m. ET with special coverage on The James Fortune Show.

“The St. Jude mission of finding cures and saving the precious lives of children battling cancer and other deadly diseases is one our audiences and staff can truly stand behind,” said Yolanda Adams. “As a mom, a believer and gospel artist, I am moved and know I am blessed simply by hearing the testimonies of those families who teach us the importance of celebrating life’s special moments – every day – for tomorrow is not promised.”

Adams is referring to children like Phoenix who joined other patients to share their St. Jude experiences with listeners across the country. Diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a cancer of the eye, Phoenix is currently being treated at St. Jude, but that hasn’t slowed him down. He’s an energetic toddler who loves to sing and dance.

“Gospel music’s message of faith and inspiration go hand-in-hand with the lifesaving work of St. Jude in providing help and hope to some of the world’s sickest children fighting for their lives,” said Richard Shadyac Jr., CEO of ALSAC/ St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “Thank you to Radio One, all of the volunteers, celebrity supporters and loyal listeners across the country for their continued support. Because of them, we are truly making a difference in the lives of kids everywhere.”

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer. Thanks to the support of individual contributions through events like Radio Cares for St. Jude Kids, families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food, so families can focus on what matters most – helping their child live.

This year’s event welcomed support from groups and celebrity music artists, including: Pastor Shirley Caesar, VaShawn Mitchell, Jason Nelson, Erica Campbell, Isaac Carree, Tasha Cobbs, Latice Crawford, James Murphy, Angie Stone, Raheem DeVaughan, Earnest Pugh, Canton Jones, Monica Lisa Stevenson, Jackie Griffin, mother of NFL Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin, and Black Girls Run! – who all volunteered their time at Radio One affiliate stations across the country answering phones from callers pledging to become St. Jude Partners in Hope.

Nationally syndicated radio host Tom Joyner added his voice to this year’s event, along with Radio One Urban AC stations inCincinnati, Dallas and St. Louis, Mo. Emmis Broadcasting’s WLIB in New York and WTHB in Augusta, Ga., are among other stations that participated in the national fundraising effort.

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