KCBD marks 40 years, longest-running Children’s Miracle Network telethon
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - As the UMC Children’s Hospital celebrates its 40-year partnership with the Children’s Miracle Network, KCBD also celebrates 40 years of hosting a telethon to support CMN and the impact it has on UMC.
“When they first asked if we’d like to be involved in CMN, we were like, ‘what is CMN’,” Karin McCay said. “Nobody knew what CMN meant, what it stood for.”
McCay has has hosted the telethon on KCBD alongside Abner Euresti since 1983. It’s the longest-running CMN broadcast in the country.
“They told us basically what it was,” Euresti said. “The two things that they said is, it’ll help kids from this area and all the money raised will stay in this area. We were sold.”
Over those 40 years, the generosity of KCBD viewers has grown along with the needs of UMC Children’s Hospital. McCay said in the first year of the telethon, it generated $80,000 for equipment and services. Now, it consistently collects more than $1 million each year.
“We were just so excited about what it could buy that first year, and then the next year what it could buy, the next year and the next year,” McCay said. “We learned quickly that as medicine evolves, there always needs so it was just a great thing that it has lasted as long as it has.”
The duo has also witnessed 40 years of miracles. Each year a few of UMC Children’s Hospital’s patients are selected to share their story.
“A lot of what we’ve done through CMN is not just raise the money, but raise awareness of what is going on there,” Euresti said. “From the beginning, we said, help make miracles happen and we try to show them miracles.”
“Being a health reporter, I saw so many great stories and opportunities to learn and to educate the public,” McCay said. “That was a good thing too, but really, the real reason we loved it was the people from the very beginning. Learning the kids, the doctors, the nurses, we’ve developed such amazing friendships in 40 years that we wouldn’t trade for anything.”
McCay and Euresti credit the longevity and success of the telethon to the generous donors, especially those who donate every year.
“It was about wanting to help kids,” Euresti said. “Looking back how far we’ve come, how far the hospital has come, and some of these people, the ones that really touch our hearts, as far as those who make donations, they have been giving to CMN for many, many years.”
“We know the names,” McCay said. “We see the same names over and over again and we are so grateful and really feel close to those people, just knowing their names and seeing them every year.”
To learn more or donate to CMN at UMC Children’s Hospital, click here.
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