Kids Day Event Raises $440,000

The final tally of dollars raised for Children's Hospital Central California through the Kids Day event reached $440,000 which surpassed this year's goal of $435,000. Tuesday, March 8, 2011 marked the 24th Annual Kids Day as volunteers from Merced through Tulare sold special editions of The Fresno Bee for $1 with all the proceeds going to Children's Hospital. More than 3,000 dedicated volunteers got up early, staked out street corners and sold the newspapers to raise much needed funds for the hospital.

If you drove by the corner of Cedar and Nees in Fresno the night of March 7, you may have wondered why you saw a group of fraternity brothers from Fresno State University and a mattress on the sidewalk. The night owls were staking out their corner for the 24th Annual Kids Day benefitting Children's Hospital Central California.

The rowdy young men's exuberance and energy lit up an otherwise dark corner from the moment - well before dawn - when the special edition of The Fresno Bee newspapers arrived. By 5 a.m. the college students had already sold several papers and made quite a bit of noise. No one passed through the intersection unaware of the opportunity to help the Valley's children by supporting their Hospital. A few of the young men set down their papers just long enough to pose for a picture with George and meet Chelsea Dunn, the 2011 Kids Day Ambassador.

If you drove by the corner of Shaw and Blackstone first thing the morning of March 8, you couldn't miss the hum of activity. Animated early birds danced on the sidewalks and peddled Kids Day papers for $1 each. The drum line from Bullard High School set an upbeat cadence for the busy intersection. Animated characters caught the eyes of passing motorists, including The Fresno Bee's mascot, Scoopy; Parker, the Grizzly with all the right moves; and the furry green creature from Fresno Monsters Hockey.

Volunteers picked up papers from more than 30 distribution centers in the 10-county area served by Children's Hospital, giving their time to collect money to support the Hospital. More than once a volunteer sold a paper to a motorist, who quietly handed over a $100 bill.

Fresno's Mayor Ashley Swearingen donned a bright orange vest and sold papers to motorists surprised to be served by a local celebrity. Children's Hospital Central California thanks the mayor and all the volunteers who broke from their usual morning routine to benefit the Hospital. We also thank our sponsors ABC 30, The Fresno Bee, The Brownie Baker, DiBuduo & Defendis Insurance, Resource Lenders, Wells Fargo, Table Mountain Casino, Bonadelle Neighborhoods, Union Bank of California, Pacific Service Credit Union, Pelco by Schneifer Electric, Bank of the West, Dumont Printing and Wow Productions.

Since Kids Day was established in 1988, our gracious volunteers have brought in over $4.4 million in contributions for the Hospital. Children's Hospital is grateful for such a generous community that continues to support our mission to provide high-quality, comprehensive healthcare services to kids like our Kids Day Ambassdor, Chelsea Dunn.