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Helping Kids with Cancer Radiothon to be held in Cape Coral

By Staff | Jan 16, 2020

A radiothon that focuses on helping and taking care of children will be held in Cape Coral this year to benefit the Barbara’s Friends — Golisano Children’s Hospital Cancer Fund.

The 19th annual Helping Kids with Cancer Radiothon will be held from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24, live from Mel’s Diner, 1331 NE Pine Island Rd., on Cat Country 107.1 FM, www.CatCountry1071.iheart.com, as well as iHeart Radio app.

Bill Malstrom, catering manager for Mel’s Diner, said they have been involved with the Radiothon since its inception mainly in Fort Myers. This year they wanted to bring it to Cape Coral to give the community the recognition they deserve for being super stars at raising money for the children’s hospital.

“It became a community event,” he said, adding that it has been a tremendous success over the years. “It’s our honor to be a title sponsor for the 18th year in a row, helping local children in our area and being a huge part in the community for such a great cause. It’s all about the children. We want to take care of the children.”

The Radiothon will feature on-air appeals by pediatric cancer patients, celebrity guests, as well as medical professionals.

“We do testimonials from patients of the past year. Unfortunately, a few have passed away,” Malstrom said. “We went from 50 percent success rate to almost 90 percent success rate and that is all due to fundraising for the children’s hospital, the new state-of-the-art children’s hospital.”

Donations made to Barbara’s Friends – Golisano Children’s Hospital Cancer provides equipment, medical services, emergency assistance, as well as financial assistance through the Kimmie’s Angels Family Assistance Program, giving families the chance to focus on their children getting well.

More than $2.7 million has been raised by Mel’s Diner through the Helping Kids with Cancer Radiothon. Malstrom said their goal is to raise an additional $150,000 to $200,000 this year.

“Every dollar we raised at Radiothon will stay right here in the community to help children being treated at Golisano Children’s Hospital,” Barbara’s Friends Chairman Al Kinkle said in a prepared statement. “It’s heartwarming to see this community rally together for a cause. Supporters recognize that every donation, large, or small, can potentially save a child’s life.”

Those who become a guardian angel in person at Mel’s Diner, a $300 donation, will receive a gift card.

“We give you back a $100 gift card as a way of saying thanks to donating to any of the Mel’s,” he said.

Guests at all five Mel’s Diner locations — Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Golden Gate and Naples — also have the opportunity to enjoy breakfast, two eggs, two pancakes and two bacon, between 6:30 to 11 a.m. for a minimum $5 donation.

“Every penny goes back to the kids,” Malstrom said. “We do that four time a year. We start when the kids go back to school and end at the Radiothon.”

T-shirts will also be available for purchase, again with all proceeds going towards the children. An auction also will be held at the Cape Coral location with such prizes as spring training tickets and signed guitars.

“Every penny matters and every penny counts,” Malstrom said. “A penny that you give us, or a thousand dollars, helps a kid one way or another. It’s not about us. It’s about us saving the children. It’s all about the kids and giving them a fighting chance in life that they might not always have.”

Individuals can also participate in the Radiothon by calling 866-609-KIDS, or by visiting: