COLUMBIA — If it is truly better to give than to receive, Fulton resident Frank Winter had a pretty good birthday.
Winter, who was celebrating his 62nd birthday Wednesday, brought three friends to Culver’s on Broadway Bluff Drive to vote for Y107 (KTXY/106.9 FM) in North America's "Most Caring Radio Station" contest, sponsored by Children’s Miracle Network.
The contest began Jan. 18 and will end at 10:59 p.m. on Friday. The station that receives the most votes will be awarded $50,000 for its sponsored children’s hospital.
“I always felt that it is good to give to charity,” Winter said.
Winter heard the contest promoted on Y107 and brought his friends — one of whom was Frank Frevert, the mayor of New Franklin — to Culver’s to vote on their way to a celebratory lunch at a nearby pizza place.
Frevert said helping donate to Children's Hospital struck a chord with him because he has a grandson, Blake, who is a leukemia survivor. Frevert, who admitted he is not computer savvy, received help with voting from Molly Myers, who works at Children's Hospital and is the Children’s Miracle Network coordinator.
“I am blown away by the support of the community,” Myers said.
Anyone, even non-Columbia residents, can vote for Y107. Brandy Forrest, Children’s Miracle Network major gift development officer, said she has family in New Orleans voting for Y107.
Voting took place at two other businesses on Wednesday: Kaldi’s Coffee House on Ninth Street and HyVee on West Broadway. Myers said the hospital and the radio station used Facebook, flyers, word of mouth, e-mail and events such as those around town Wednesday to publicize the fundraising campaign.
MU Children’s Hospital needs about $13 million in donations or other funding to complete a major transformation slated to be finished this fall. When the project is completed, the hospital's inpatient and outpatient care units will relocate from floors six and seven at University Hospital to Columbia Regional Hospital.
Meyers said the standard of care will improve because it will allow for private rooms, versus the current semi-private rooms. The top two floors will encompass inpatient services, and the remaining four will encompass women's health and children's services.
Although Y107 began near the bottom of the list when the contest began, Wednesday the station was in first place ahead of WKLH 96.5, serving the much larger area of Milwaukee, Wis.
“First place is a great accomplishment,” said Matt Splett, MU Health Care media coordinator. “We are thrilled so many people are voting, but at this point we still have 48 hours left.”
Readers can vote and check the contest results at the Children's Miracle Work Web site.