Phones Light Up with Love and Donations for Akron Children’s Hospital

volunteer at childrens hospital smiling

On Feb. 8 and 9, FirstEnergy employee volunteers picked up the phones to help Northeast Ohioans become “miracle makers” during the annual 98.1 KDD Radiothon to benefit Akron Children's Hospital. FirstEnergy Foundation also did its part to light up the phone lines, encouraging a burst of donations with a matching donation up to $10,000.

Now in its 25th year, the 98.1 KDD Radiothon is known for its uplifting energy, providing patients and families the opportunity to share their personal stories on the air and prompting listeners to call in with pledges. Since 2000, the event has raised approximately $12 million for the hospital, including this year’s donations totaling $428,326. Pledges are used to buy pediatric medical equipment and to fund patient care, community outreach and research.

FirstEnergy employees look forward to this event every year – grateful for the chance to support a world-class hospital that demonstrates FirstEnergy’s core values through its unwavering commitment to strengthening communities and providing culturally competent care. Caroline Klein, Coordinator for Document Production and Graphic Services, has organized FirstEnergy’s volunteer efforts “for more years than she can remember.” She says that many volunteers participate year after year because they have experienced Akron Children’s compassionate care firsthand.

"Akron Children’s is a true gem right in our own backyard, and investing in the hospital is a surefire way to improve the health and vitality of the communities we serve," says Irene Prezelj, Vice President, Investor Relations & Communications. Prezelj also serves as a trustee for the FirstEnergy Foundation and is a member of the Akron Children's Hospital Foundation Board. “We’re especially proud to be a lead donor for the renovation and expansion of the Rehabilitative Services department – one of the hospital’s busiest areas, with a 34% increase in rehab visits expected through 2025.”

The new FirstEnergy Foundation Outpatient Rehabilitation Welcome and Check-In Center provides children and families with a brighter, more accessible entry to the services they need. The enhanced rehab facility helps the hospital better serve increasing numbers of patients – helping children get better faster AND get back to what they do best – being children.

FirstEnergy and the FirstEnergy Foundation have a long history of supporting community initiatives that improve the quality of life for our customers. Over the past decade, FirstEnergy has donated over $500,000 to Akron Children’s Hospital, contributing to beloved events like the Holiday Tree Festival and key capital campaigns to help the hospital expand its campus and enhance services for children and their families.

“We’re lucky to have a hospital that provides medical care to children of all ages regardless of a family’s ability to pay,” says Paula Yuen, a member of FirstEnergy’s Supply Chain Utility Services team. “I’m grateful to work for a company that values community engagement – and to have coworkers who work every day to make their communities brighter.”

Last Modified: February 22, 2024