WZPL's Smiley Morning Show Raises Over $620,000 for Make-A-Wish® In 19th Annual Request-A-Thon

Indianapolis radio station breaks previous fundraising record, helping to grant 78 wishes for Hoosier kids battling life-threatening medical conditions

Dec 15, 2015, 07:00 ET from Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana

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INDIANAPOLIS, Dec. 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Dozens of Indiana's most deserving kids will receive their heartfelt wishes thanks to the Smiley Morning Show and 99.5 ZPL radio's 19th Annual Request-A-Thon fundraiser. The 36-hour songs-for-donations event, held Dec. 3-4, generated $624,072 for Make-A-Wish® Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, which will allow the organization to grant wishes for 78 children who are battling life-threatening medical conditions.

This year's grand total exceeds the previous Request-A-Thon fundraising record and pushes the Smiley Morning Show team past $5 million total raised for Make-A-Wish since Dave Smiley began hosting the event in 2002.

"The Request-A-Thon is always an emotional roller coaster for us and our listeners, but to hear the excitement and appreciation in each child's voice when we raise enough money to grant their wish makes every second worth it," said Dave Smiley, host of the Smiley Morning Show.

To participate in the Request-A-Thon, listeners requested their favorite tunes in exchange for donations to the cause via calls into the Teacher's Credit Union phone bank, text messages or online submissions. During this year's Request-A-Thon, 15 area wish kids and their families visited the ZPL studio to share their wishes with listeners. The average cost of a wish is $8,000. Among the most unique wishes this year were:

  • Seventeen-year-old Hailey of Greenfield, who is battling cystic fibrosis, wishes to go to Hawaii
  • Fourteen-year-old Alena of Zionsville, who fought acute lymphoblastic leukemia, wishes to work with the manatees in Florida
  • Eighteen-year-old Cristina, of Indianapolis, is battling Ewing's sarcoma and wishes to visit Italy
  • Fourteen-year-old Austin of Indianapolis, fighting an immunodeficiency disorder wished for a custom-made Pokemon-themed guitar and received his surprise wish in the ZPL studio

Most of the area wish kids are patients of Peyton Manning Children's Hospital and Riley Hospital for Children (IU Health).

Several area corporations contributed phone bank volunteers and donations in support of the Request-A-Thon, including DEFENDERS, Stanley Solutions, IMMI & Taft Law, Salesforce, Millcraft and Central Restaurant Products.

"We are grateful for the ongoing support of ZPL and the Smiley Morning Show, which has helped us grant more than 700 wishes," said Doug Kelly, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.  "We appreciate this opportunity to share some of our kids' stories with listeners, who are able to hear the impact of their donations on children who are facing a tough road."

Make-A-Wish relies on the support of the community to grant wishes locally. While the 2015 Request-A-Thon has concluded, there are still ways to get involved with Make-A-Wish:

  • Make a donation online or by calling 877-206-9474
  • Make a donation of frequent flier miles
  • Become a volunteer
  • Ask your employer to make a corporate donation or match your own

For more information on ways to help, visit indiana.wish.org, call 1-877-206-9474 and follow Make-A-Wish on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @makeawishohkyin.

About Make-A-Wish® Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana
Make-A-Wish® Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Currently, there are over 200 children in Indiana eligible for a wish. You can help share the power of a wish® by making a donation, volunteering, or referring a child. Make-A-Wish is in urgent need of volunteers in Northern and Southern Indiana. For more information, visit our website at indiana.wish.org or call 1-877-206-9474.

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151214/295871

SOURCE Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana