Northwest Indiana will soon hold the power to make hundreds of children’s wishes come true all within the palm of its hands.
Make-A-Wish® Ohio, Kentucky & Indiana will be hosting its second annual Northwest Indiana Request-A-Thon on Wednesday, June 7 from 5 a.m. - 7 p.m. During this time, Make-A-Wish will be taking over three Adams Radio Group stations – Indiana 105.5 FM, Z107.1, and XRock103.9 – filling the day’s lineup for each station with inspiring wish stories, heartfelt content, and many chances for listeners to interact by calling in for special song requests and donations.
“Typically, we have community partners that also get on and talk about what they can bring, and then listeners can call into a number that the disc jockeys will be providing,” said Make-A-Wish Northwest Indiana Advancement Officer Rachel Terhorst. “From there, they can request that a song be played over the local radio station, and they can make a donation through the volunteer or through text to give as well.”
Currently, around 115 kids across Northern Indiana are waiting for their wish to be granted. Make-A-Wish is hoping to lower that number greatly as it continues to grow its presence in this part of the state through events such as the Request-A-Thon, and the organization is quite excited for this specific event to make its second appearance in the Region.
“We also reach people locally, in your subdivision, and in your neighborhoods,” Terhorst said. “We additionally want to be more engaging in this area, as well as granting the wishes, so we decided to bring some awareness in this direction. It was a huge success last year, so we are replicating that again this year and hoping for another big success.”
Last year, the Request-A-Thon raised $17,000. With things even bigger and better this year, Terhorst is excited to see just how much of an impact the Request-A-Thon will make this time around.
“It brings some local awareness, which we’re super excited about. This year, the radio station we are working with is opening this up to all three of their radio stations, so we look forward to this being even bigger and better than last year,” she said.
The reason for that excitement is the sparkle that crosses the children’s eyes as they see their wish come true. Terhorst mentioned there truly is no better feeling than watching the kids and their families experience something so magical, especially during such challenging times.
“I love meeting the local wish families – seeing their strength and positivity and getting to know both the parents and the children, understanding what they have been through in the battle they have fought – there’s just no comparison and I love every day of it,” Terhorst said. “It's so exciting to see that and to know at the end of the day that you are helping grant wishes to families like this, especially when they're in your local community. That feeling is just unmatchable.”
Making that positive impact in a child’s life is the main reason Scott Rosenberg, program director for Adams Radio Group in Northwest Indiana, has always enjoyed working with Make-A-Wish. Rosenberg had previously partnered with Make-A-Wish in the Region back in the ‘90s and early 2000s and was beaming with joy upon hearing the event would be rekindled last year.
Rosenberg is also looking forward to opening the event up to a broader audience this year by including three stations instead of one. Each station has a loyal following for the different genres they feature, and on June 7, no matter their taste, Region music fans will unite for the common goal of making what had just seemed like a dream in a child's mind a reality.
“To see them all do whatever they can to help out these great wish kids that could really use some distractions for what they're going through is amazing,” he said. “It also really helps not just the wish kid but the whole family to have this diversion that Make-A-Wish provides for them, whether that be sending them on a trip or doing something special together. It really means a lot, and it really meant a lot to us to see all of our listeners on our three stations stepping up and helping these kids out.”
Through the Request-A-Thon, Make-A-Wish hopes to replicate that feeling for many more children battling a critical illness at any stage. Requests can be made online starting at 5 a.m. on June 7, with phone lines opening at 6 a.m. for call-in requests at 219-213-9121. Listeners are also welcome to text makeawish to 243725. More information can additionally be found on any of the radio station’s websites at Indiana105.com, xrock1039.com, or z1071fm.com.
Be sure to have your phones ready bright and early June 7 because in just the small amount of time it takes to make a phone call or go online, you just might help make the biggest, most meaningful change in a local child’s life.