KTCS Radio Station in Fort Smith, Arkansas set up a live remote feed at Blue Ribbon car dealership in Sallisaw, Oklahoma on Saturday, March 7, 2015. The family owned station promotes a six-week fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation to grant a wish of children with life-threatening illnesses.
Twenty-four children from the Mid-South Arkansas Chapter of Make-A-Wish Foundation continue to fight against life-threatening diseases as they wait to have one wish granted. Children, who have been waiting longer to have their wish granted, are given priority once the funds have been raised.
According to D.J. Brad Kelly, their goal is to raise around $5,000 for each child sponsored by Make-A-Wish in the mid-south region. Last year, KTCS raised more than $65,000 in six weeks.
For the past eight years, the KTCS team has partnered with local businesses to share in the Make-A Wish mission. This year, the Grasshopper Mower Shop donated a zero turn mower to give away on the final day of the fundraiser. Omega Car & Truck Accessories sponsored the event by donating t-shirts for every ten-dollar contribution. Other sponsors include Things To Do in Fort Smith (TTDIFS), Sparks Health System, Walmart’s Arkansas Music Pavilion (AMP), Blue Ribbon Car Dealership, George’s Majestic Lounge, Cain’s Ballroom, and Bedford Camera & Video.
To conclude the six-week fundraiser, KTCS will hold a Radio-a-thon in their studio on April 10, 2015. Volunteers and several Make-A-Wish children will take calls throughout the day. In addition, some children will share their story on the KTCS broadcast.
As the children and families experience daily struggles and obstacles associated with life-threatening illnesses, communities rally together to show financial and emotional support.
In a 2013 study, Granting wishes: parents’ perception of a wish fulfillment for a child with a life-threatening illness, medical psychologists in the Netherlands researched the effects of granting wishes to children with terminal illnesses. According to the article, “The results show that, on the whole, the experience is a positive one with children experiencing more energy and parents being distracted from their child’s illness.”