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Radiothon to End Child Abuse is next week

The Radiothon to End Child Abuse is a way to raise funds for the Hubbard County Child Abuse Prevention Council.

The annual fundraiser is from noon Thursday, Dec. 6 through noon Friday, Dec. 7.

Money raised by the Radiothon benefits the Hubbard County Child Abuse Prevention Council. Money is also used for the SAFE Parks Program operated in Park Rapids and Akeley. The objective of SAFE Parks is to provide a Safe and Fun Environment (SAFE) for all the children who participate. In addition, this money has been used for Kinship, a mentoring program for children in the area.

Nicole Opsal, with Hubbard County Child Abuse Prevention Council, announced a new program introduced last year was successful. The program is called Family Toybox, which is a multiple-family therapy group for children ages 3-5 and their parents. During the sessions the families participate in activities focused on building stronger relationships, learning skills in a limited setting, communicating, and structuring activities to promote success.

The first Radiothon to End Child Abuse was in 1987 and organized by Lou Buron and Mary Campbell at a Twin Cities radio station. Lou was chairman of the Minnesota Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse. The MCPCA was short of funding and the radiothon was created to help bridge the gap. MCPCA's name was later changed to Prevent Child Abuse Minnesota.

The Campbells formed Omni Broadcasting in 1989 and moved to Bemidji. They continued the radiothon to raise money for local communities.

In 1994 Omni Broadcasting expanded the radiothon to the Brainerd Lakes area. In 2005 the Omni radiothon network added Wadena stations.

Since the inception of the Radiothon to End Child Abuse in 1989, more than half a million dollars has been raised to help end child abuse and neglect in Beltrami, Cass, Clearwater and Hubbard Counties.

In 2011, $43,533.40 was raised.

When a pledge is received during the Radiothon, callers can designate if they want their donation earmarked for one of four counties (Beltrami, Cass, Clearwater or Hubbard) or the donation can be shared equally by all four counties.

Prevent Child Abuse Minnesota (PCAMN) also shares in the money raised.

Each agency must follow established criteria for using the funds to ensure the money is used for the right cause.

The phone number to pledge in Bemidji is 218-444-1500 and the Wadena phone number is 877-509-7233. Donations can also be made online at

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561