Promesa y Esperanza radiothon brings St. Jude patients promise and hope

Luis Fonsi receives a kiss from St. Jude patient Kerelys during the 2008 Promesa seminar.

Luis Fonsi receives a kiss from St. Jude patient Kerelys during the
2008 Promesa seminar.


On February 7 – 8, the airwaves of Hispanic radio stations around the country will be filled with Promesa y Esperanza (Promise and Hope).

The annual Promesa y Esperanza radiothon will hit the airwaves asking Hispanic radio listeners to help bring promise and hope to St. Jude patients. Univision Radio, a division of Univision Communications Inc. and the leading Spanish-language radio broadcaster in the United States, is broadcasting the national radiothon through its local stations in Albuquerque, Dallas, El Paso, Fresno, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, McAllen, Miami, New York, Puerto Rico, San Antonio, San Diego and San Francisco. Univision Radio is also supporting the event through its syndicated radio programming, Recuerdo, RadioCadena Univision and el Piolín en la Mañana, in more than 20 markets.

The Spanish-format radio fundraiser event helps raise money and awareness in Latino communities for children who are battling cancer and other diseases at St. Jude.  For the first time, Univision Radio Puerto Rico is joining in the effort to support the world’s largest childhood cancer research center. 

“At Univision, and at each of the local stations in the Univision Radio network, we are proud of the role we play for Hispanics in the United States,” said Monica Rabassa, vice president of marketing, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs of Univision Radio. “Our work with St. Jude is another example of our commitment to our communities. The amazing response of our staff and listeners since we started our partnership 10 years ago demonstrates the importance of the St. Jude message of hope.”

Throughout the broadcast, patients and families will share their experience of being at St. Jude with the radiothon audience across the country. Listeners interested in helping in the fight against childhood cancer may call toll free 800-636-1713 beginning on February 7 until the end of the radio broadcast on Friday, February 8. Or listeners can log in to the recently launched Promesa y Esperanza Web site (English  Spanish).

“We are very fortunate to have the support from Univision Radio and the Hispanic community to ensure that no child is ever turned away from receiving treatment because of a family’s inability to pay,” says John P. Moses, chief executive officer of ALSAC, the fundraising organization of St. Jude. “We want the community to know that every donation, even as little as $20 a month, makes a difference in saving a child’s life at St. Jude.”

Prior to the national broadcast, more than 200 Hispanic radio representatives came to St. Jude during the seventh annual Promesa y Esperanza Hispanic radio training seminar on January 25 – 26, 2008.

Representatives from more than 75 stations toured St. Jude and learned about the work the hospital was doing to combat childhood cancer. Also attending the event were Latin actressGenesis Rodriguez  and artists Jeremias, Domenic Marte and Latin Grammy nominee Luis Fonsi.

For Richard Rocha, the local sales manager for WBZY in Atlanta, Georgia, the visit marked his first time at St. Jude, a place he had heard much about from his general salesman, who had been a part of other Promesa y Esperanza radiothons at other stations.

As he learned more about the hospital, Rocha became more and more determined to help in the mission. “It touches my heart,” he says. “Part of my job is to motivate people. When I see this for myself, I want to make sure we have a very successful radiothon.”

Rocha says he was particularly impressed with the stewardship of funds that is maintained by ALSAC. “Eighty-five percent of every dollar received comes to the hospital. That’s a very high number for any charity,” he says.

For others, like Tony Rodriguez, program director and DJ for WHOL in Allentown, Pennsylvania, the seminar served as an opportunity to reconnect with the hospital. Rodriguez attended the 2004 Promesa y Esperanza seminar, which he said helped him convey the St. Jude message to his listeners.

“I saw every hallway, every child and every smile as I was sharing with my listeners,” he says. And that prompted him to return this year, to recapture that color and hopefully paint a detailed picture for his listeners and inspire them to help St. Jude. “It makes you feel good to know you are a part of this,” Rodriguez says.

During the seminar, Raul Ribeiro, MD, director of the St. Jude International Outreach Program and Carlos Rodriguez-Galindo, MD, of the Hematology – Oncology department discussed with attendees some of the latest advances the hospital has made in its quest to find cures and save children. And throughout the weekend, some of the St. Jude patients themselves shared stories from the front lines of the fight against cancer with the representatives.

Built on the same foundation as the Country Cares for St. Jude Kids® radiothons, Promesa provides radio stations with everything they need for a successful two-day radiothon, from brochures to volunteer phone operators to Spanish-speaking St. Jude families who can give listeners a first-hand account of what the hospital means to them as they go through the ordeal of a cancer-stricken child.
Promesa y Esperanza has grown to become one of the most successful radio fundraising programs in the Hispanic community since it began in 1997. In all, more than 75 radio stations have helped raise more than $25 million in cash and pledges for St. Jude patients.


February 2008

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