SURREY, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Nov. 9, 2016) - When the first donor calls the 93.1 RED FM station early on Monday morning, November 14, the 10th Gurupurab Radiothon will be officially underway.
This is a special year for RED FM, as it marks the 10th year that the popular station has devoted the day's airtime to raising money for local hospitals. This outpouring of generosity from the South Asian community has made a significant impact for all patients and families at Surrey Memorial Hospital, which has benefited from more than $5 million in donations.
Since 2007, Radiothon donations have equipped the Emergency Department, transformed the Family Birthing Unit and supported the hospital's Stroke Unit.
This annual event organized by RED FM has also created a new tradition for the South Asian community within Metro Vancouver and beyond. People of all ages visit or phone the station to make donations in celebration of the birthday of Guru Nanak. Over the years, donations have come in from as far away as Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
This year's goal is to raise funds for Surrey Hospital & Outpatient Centre Foundation to enable Surrey Memorial to extend the Kidney Centre, providing dialysis closer to home for more patients. When the target of $1 million is reached, the unit will be named Dukh Bhanjan Kidney Centre.
Foundation President Jane Adams looks forward to the radiothon each year. "The members of our generous South Asian community always inspire me with their passion for the causes they believe to be important," she says. "Last year alone, we had more than 4,500 donations and we raised $820,000."
Jas Cheema, a member of the Foundation board when the partnership with RED FM was formed, has been a radiothon donor and volunteer since the first event in 2007.
"I feel so inspired when I see families lining up at the station to make their donations in honour of Guru Nanak Dev Ji," she says. "I am proud of my community's generosity to others on this special day, and it's wonderful to see that the seeds that we planted 10 years ago are bearing fruit."
Kulwinder Sanghera, president of RED FM and the South Asian Broadcasting Corporation, says that the radiothon has far exceeded the station's original expectations.
"The South Asian community has truly embraced the idea of supporting the health care programs that are important to all families," he says.
The Surrey radiothon was so successful that in 2013 Sanghera added another at sister station 106.7 RED FM in Calgary. Together, the stations have raised almost $8 million.
We need your support! Here's how to donate
To donate right now, visit the Surrey Hospital & Outpatient Centre Foundation website www.championsforcare.com. If you would like to donate during the radiothon on November 14, drop into the RED FM station or call the donation line at 604-598-9311.