The votes are in, and Akron Children’s Hospital has earned top honors in 2 categories of Akron Life magazine’s recently released “Best of the City” issue: best local charity event and best place to volunteer.
The Have a Heart, Do Your Part Radiothon, presented by 98.1 WKDD, was named “best local charity event” in the reader-nominated contest.
With more than $8.9 million raised since it began in 2000, the radiothon is Akron Children’s largest fundraiser.
“Akron Children’s Hospital and 98.1 WKDD have a long history in the community so the pairing has been a natural success,” said Nicci Avalon, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals program manager at Akron Children’s. “It engages the community like no other event does.”
Radiothon host and WKDD personality Keith Kennedy was also named the best local radio show host.
The Holiday Tree Festival, which is presented by the volunteers each November, received second place honors in the best local charity event category.
Now in its 33rd year, the Holiday Tree Festival has become a tradition for many in the community, who attend year after year to see the hundreds of beautifully decorated trees displayed throughout the John S. Knight Center.
“For many, it’s a kickoff to the holiday season,” said Joni Fitch, special projects coordinator at Akron Children’s Hospital. “And it’s an event that is extremely important to our volunteers. They truly view it as a gift to the community, and it is getting bigger and better every year.”
Akron Children’s received top recognition as the “best local place to volunteer.”
“Our volunteers are really faithful to the hospital,” said Vicki Parisi, manager of volunteer services for Akron Children’s Hospital. “Many have had children or grandchildren in here, so they’ve had a personal experience and they want to give back.”
Last year, 1,360 volunteers donated 104,900 hours of their time to the hospital.