NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Next week, some big names in the entertainment industry will help raise money for children battling serious medical conditions.
These children will spend the holidays in the hospital, undergoing intense treatment and therapy, but they’re in good hands thanks to the great work by the staff at Blythedale Children’s Hospital.
Larry Levine, the hospital’s president and CEO, and radio host Patty Steele say the annual WCBS-FM Holiday Show has raised $470,000 for Blythedale since 2014.
Money raised from this year’s broadcast will support Blythedale’s infant and toddler unit.
“We combine superb medical care with extraordinary rehabilitation on kids that have a tremendous amount of medically complex illnesses, and we restore their health and their quality of life,” Levine said. “And 91% of our kids actually go home despite all these medical conditions. And I think once you walk through the halls of Blythedale and you see the kids up and around and getting therapy and medical and nursing care, you find what an optimistic place Blythedale really is.”
“You restore their joy. I mean, that to me, that is the thing in the 20 years that I’ve been doing this with you guys, you walk in there and you are expecting to see sadness, and you see nothing but joy and happiness. And I always tell Larry, it’s very hard to tell the difference between the caregivers and the parents because the love is so palpable from everyone. It’s just an amazing place,” Steele said.
Here’s how you can make a donation in support of the event or bid on an auction item:
- Visit bchkids.givesmart.com
- Call (914) 831-2424
- Text BCHKIDS to 52182
This year’s program includes live performances and appearances from Johnny Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls, Work in Progress featuring “Stranger Things” actor Gaten Matarazzo, Mark Rivera of the Billy Joel band, a cappella group Six13, Holiday Express, and Matchbox Twenty’s lead singer Rob Thomas, who is making his 20th consecutive appearance at the show.
“Rob Thomas from Matchbox Twenty is our angel. He’s been there for as long as I can remember,” Steele said. “The thing that’s beautiful about him is he doesn’t just come and perform and walk out, he tours the hospital.”
“And he really connects with the kids,” Levine said.
In addition to the live broadcast, money is also raised through the rock ’n’ roll auction. Available items include guitars autographed by Jon Bon Jovi, Rob Thomas and Johnny Rzeznick, plus VIP experiences to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, a Billy Joel concert, New York sporting events and more.
WCBS-FM, which is owned by Entercom, will broadcast the Holiday Show on Friday, Dec. 20. The auction closes at 10 p.m. that day.