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Release: June 5, 2000

'Weekend of Champions' pledges total nearly $1.9 million

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Fundraising for the 2000 Children's Miracle Network "Weekend of Champions" held Saturday and Sunday at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics totaled nearly $1.9 million.

It marked the fourth straight year in the event's 17-year history that fund-raising exceeded
$1 million.

Frank Morriss, M.D., medical director of the Children's Hospital of Iowa at the UI Hospitals and Clinics, expressed sincere appreciation for the extensive support provided by residents of Iowa and Illinois, as well as other adjoining states.

"This extraordinary expression of generosity toward children's health care means a great deal to the pediatric patients and families we serve in cooperation with the many superb community physicians and hospitals throughout the region," he said.

Amy O'Deen, administrator of Children's Hospital of Iowa, noted that this year's contributions surpassed last year's $1.6 million total by more than 18 percent.

"We are exceedingly grateful to our many friends and supporters," she said. "This is truly a collaborative effort that directly benefits the thousands of pediatric patients and families we serve each year."

News anchors from four television stations -- KGAN-TV in Cedar Rapids, KCCI-TV in Des Moines, WQAD-TV in Moline, Ill., and KIMT-TV in Mason City -- teamed at the UI Hospitals and Clinics for regional segments of the entertainment program.

The event also included call-in pledges totaling more than $351,000 taken during the STAR 102.5 (Des Moines) radiothon held May 23-27 at the Valley West Mall, and $94,000 taken during KHAK's (Cedar Rapids) "CMN Radiothon," held Tuesday through Friday at the UI Hospitals and Clinics.

An estimated 400 volunteers answered phones and made regional television appearances to present checks or participate in interviews. Nationally, the "Weekend of Champions" raised more than $200 million, up from $192 million the previous year.

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

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.