63rd Annual Free Care Fund Benefit Show on KDKA Raises $1.7 Million for Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation

December 19, 2016

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation announced during the 63rd Annual Free Care Fund Benefit Show that it raised $1.7 million in donations and pledges in 2016 to support the hospital’s Free Care Fund.

The live broadcast was held on Thursday, Dec. 15, at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and at PPG Wintergarden in downtown Pittsburgh. The show was broadcast on KDKA-TV and on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA.

This year’s event included the addition of three junior hosts, all of whom are patients at Children’s Hospital. The junior hosts hosted live segments with Ken Rice, Lynne Hayes Freeland, and Jon Burnett, anchors at KDKA-TV, and were interviewed on the NewsRadio 1020 KDKA broadcast, where they announced the final totals. At the end of the show each of the kids received a patient champion medal for their participation.

"Being on the KDKA Free Care Fund Benefit Show with Ken Rice was one of the best days I've ever had,” said AJ Olshanski, age 11, one of the junior hosts. “We helped raise money for my favorite place, Children's Hospital, and I got a chance to see how much fun it is to be on live television. I am grateful for the opportunity to give back, and it was great to practice my broadcasting skills for my future career."

In addition to the junior hosts, the Pittsburgh Steelers were involved in “Holiday Hugs”, a new monthly giving program. The Steelers players will deliver a teddy bear to patients in the hospital for each donor who gave a monthly gift of $20 or more.

“The Free Care Fund Benefit Show has been successful year after year thanks to the generous support of schools, organizations, corporations, and community members who fundraise for our kids,” said Greg Barrett, president, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation. "We couldn’t do this without the generosity of our community and their commitment to ensuring Children's is here for every child."

The Free Care Fund provides free and uncompensated care to children in the region regardless of their families’ insurance or ability to pay.

In 2015, more than 28,000 children benefited from the Free Care Fund at Children’s, totaling more than $21.4 million in free and uncompensated care provided.

The top corporate donors to this year’s 2016 Free Care Fund Benefit Show were Eat’n Park and Howard Hanna Real Estate Services.

For more information about the Free Care Fund or to make a donation, visit Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation’s website at www.givetochildrens.org, or call 412-692-3900 or 1-877-CHP-GIVE.