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Release: Immediate

Weekend of Champions surpasses $1 million again

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Fund raising for the 1998 Children's Miracle Network "Weekend of Champions" held Saturday and Sunday at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC) totaled $1.3 million, marking the second straight year in the event's 15-year history that fund raising exceeded $1 million.

Amy O'Deen, administrator of the Children's Hospital of Iowa at the UIHC, said, "We are exceedingly grateful to our many friends and supporters throughout Iowa and the Midwest region. This is truly a collaborative effort that directly benefits the 100,000 pediatric patients and families we serve each year in cooperation with the region's community physicians and hospitals."

This year's contributions surpassed last year's total by some 22 percent, according to O'Deen.

News anchors from four television stations -- KGAN-TV in Cedar Rapids, KCCI-TV in Des Moines; WQAD-TV in Moline, Illinois; and KIMT-TV in Mason City -- teamed at UIHC for regional segments of the 21-hour entertainment program.

The event also included call-in pledges taken during KHAK's (Cedar Rapids) "CMN Radiothon," a 98-hour radio broadcast held Tuesday through Saturday at the UIHC.

An estimated 700 volunteers answered phones and made regional television appearances to present checks or participate in interviews. Nationally, the "Weekend of Champions" raised more than $172 million, approximately 18 percent more than last year.

Money raised locally by the Children's Miracle Network remains at the Children's Hospital of Iowa at the UIHC to underwrite advanced medical technology, sophisticated facilities, pediatric research and diversionary items that improve the quality of life for hospitalized children and their families.