May 21, 2008 — For sick children, hope and loving care are just as important as cutting-edge medicine. At the University of Virginia Children's Hospital, children and their families receive each of these and more. Central Virginians will have the chance to see this kind of care firsthand when they tune in to watch the 24th annual University of Virginia Children's Hospital Telethon. The program will air on WVIR NBC 29 beginning Saturday, May 31, from 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., and resuming Sunday, June 1, from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
The broadcast will raise funds to benefit U.Va.'s youngest patients and will feature miraculous stories of courage from children and families who have beaten the odds. Jennifer Barrick, a Lynchburg high school student who suffered multiple traumatic brain injuries and skull fractures in a car accident, is one of those miracles. Jen was not expected to live, but due to her faith and the caring individuals who work at U.Va. Children's Hospital, she recovered. Viewers will also get to meet twins born many weeks early and cared for in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
In addition, the Telethon broadcast will feature more than 35 community businesses and groups who support U.Va. Children's Hospital. Hundreds more – individuals who are parents, grandparents, former patients and others – will call in to pledge their support. Central Virginia is among the nation's most generous regions, routinely earning the Children's Miracle Network Award for generating the highest per capita phone pledges in the country. This year's telethon will support a new Children's Hospital expansion project, renovations in primary care, special programs for children and families, life-saving pediatric research and toys and games for young patients.
Charlottesville-based Klöckner Pentaplast of America Inc., one of the world's top producers of plastic packaging films, has a long history of supporting U.Va. Children's Hospital.
"The Klöckner family is proud to support children and families in our community," said Michael Tubridy, president of Klöckner Pentaplast of America Inc. "Many of our employees have their own stories to tell of lives saved or made better by the care provided at U.Va. Children's Hospital. We are fortunate to have access to such highly skilled children's healthcare right here in our own backyard."
Before the telethon kicks off, Klöckner-Pentaplast of America will host the 24th annual Walk for Kids. Registration will begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday and the 3-mile walk begins at the east gate of U.Va.'s Scott Stadium at 9 a.m. Shorter and longer walk options are available. Both are stroller- and pet-friendly. Walkers of all ages will raise funds for the telethon and enjoy special food, prizes, and entertainment. For information on the Walk for Kids, and for a pledge sheet, call 924-8432 or visit the Web site.
U.Va. Children's Hospital is one of the premier children's hospitals serving the mid-Atlantic region. Each year, the U.Va. Children's Hospital has more than 100,000 patient visits. Children and families come from across Virginia and neighboring states. For specialty care, they come from around and outside the country.
The U.Va. Children's Hospital Telethon is part of the nationally broadcast Children's Miracle Network Telethon. Aside from the local segments, viewers also will see national performances from well-known celebrities and entertainment personalities.
For information or to make a telethon gift, call (434) 924-8432 or go to the telethon Web site.