Fantasy of Trees raises over $400,000 for East Tennessee Children’s Hospital

Over 60,000 people attended the 32nd annual Fantasy of Trees event at the Knoxville Convention Center.

Fantasy of Trees raised over $400,000 for East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. This year’s money goes toward anesthesia equipment for the Neonatal ICU.

The show presented over 350 trees, wreaths and holiday home décor for sale made by local businesses. There was also a huge display of gingerbread houses.

Tickets were $8 for adults and $4 for children.

Jordan Stanton, an attendee, said, “We come here every year, and love that we can attend something so great for an even better cause.”

This event hosted many things for kids to do including face paint, cookie decorating, carousel riding and more.

Janet Williams attended the event with her niece. “I love that we can come to this event as a family, and not get bored,” she said. “Seeing Santa was definitely the best part.”

Carter High School, along with many other schools, held a performance of songs for the Christmastime. The Oak Ridge Ballet Association performed a showcase of their Christmas ballet for the people attending.

“This is my third year volunteering for Fantasy of the Trees,” Nick Wylie, a volunteer working at the cookie decorating station, said. “I want to continue volunteering because I love this cause. I have visited the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital many of times, so helping this cause is so awesome.”

For more information of Fantasy of Trees, visit their website.

Featured Image by Rylee Barnes

Edited by Kaitlin Flippo

‘For the Kids’ hosts event, raises money for children’s hospital

Members of “For the Kids” hold a sign showing that they’ve raised a total of $43,226.87 for the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.

The University of Tennessee’s student organization “For the Kids @ UTK” hosted an event at the Hollingsworth Auditorium in the Ellington Plant Sciences building to raise money for the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital’s Hematology and Oncology Clinic from 7 p.m.-7 a.m. March 27 and 28.

Students participated in various events, including a dance marathon, with children that currently are or have gone through childhood cancer and blood disorders.

“It is the most rewarding feeling you can imagine! ‘For the Kids’ really is one of the greatest causes, and I’m so lucky to have taken a part in it,” participant Katee Nall said. “Everyone’s hard work paid off and I’m happy to know the money can help families like the ones I met at For the Kids.”

The event brought in over 300 volunteers, and 100 children and parents, and the organization has risen over $43,000 from all events held this year, surpassing their original goal of $30,000.

“A huge part of fundraising is done by members sharing their fundraising page on social media and getting donations from their family and friends,” Jane Anna Caldwell, one of the directors, said. “The other portion is made throughout percentage nights done year-round and our amazing sponsors.”

Further, the event impacts not only the kids, but also the volunteers and supporters.

“‘For the Kids’ has impacted me by showing me how much I really can do to help. This money goes directly to the children that I do crafts with in the waiting room, and to me that’s the most inspiring thing,” said Caldwell.

Each year, “For the Kids” directors plan to keep the event growing and to set their goals higher.

“These children are going through something bigger than I’ve ever faced in my life and they always seem to brighten my day,” continued Caldwell.

According to their webpage, members of the organization are taught how to teach other students the value of philanthropy and service by raising funds year-round for the children’s hospital, with the goal of emotionally and financially supporting child cancer patient’s families.

Edited by Hannah Hunnicutt

For the Kids event to support Children’s Hospital

Previously known as Dance Marathon, the University of Tennessee will be hosting its For The Kids mission Friday, April 4 at 7 p.m. in the Hollingsworth Auditorium of the Ellington Plant Sciences building in order to raise money for the patients of the Hematology and Oncology unit of the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.

The name change was a result of wanting to put more emphasis on the kids rather than the dancing, said Kelly Fellman, For the Kids at UTK president.

“Focusing the name more towards the kids has been a positive change, and we think that we have gained a broader range of participants taking out the word ‘dance,'” said Fellman.

In addition to the name change, the event itself will be different than it has been in previous years. Rather than starting the event at 9 p.m. Friday night and ending on 9 a.m. Saturday morning, the event will now begin 7 p.m. Friday night and end 7 a.m. Saturday morning.

This change will allow children from the Hematology and Oncology Clinic at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital to come to on Friday evening and to interact with students and help set a positive tone for the rest of the event, according to Fellman.

The overall goal of For the Kids event is to raise money for the Hematology and Oncology Clinic at the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, said Fellman

“This money will support those families as well help the hospital to buy supplies,” said Fellman.

Registration for the event can be found at this link and will remain open until 8 p.m. Friday night.

Edited by Maggie Jones

Radio station raises money for children’s hospital

Star 102.1 takes over the halls of West Town Mall to raise money for Children's Hospital.
Star 102.1 takes over the halls of West Town Mall to raise money for East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.
Megan Gutgsell/ TNJN

Star 102.1 takes over West Town Mall for the 13th Annual Radiothon, with all proceeds benefiting the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.

The Radiothon took place from 6 a.m. on March 6 to 6 p.m. on March 7. Star 102.1 radio DJs Marc and Kim live broadcasted from the mall.

East Tennessee Children’s Hospital has partnered up with the station in the past.  Over the past years, the radiothon has been able to raise $2 million.

“The radiothon is a great way to spread the word about the fundraisers that Star puts on,” said Kirby Sprewell, Star 102.1 intern.

The event had a silent auction that gave away prizes such as Chick-Fil-A gift baskets, Bristol Speedway tickets, artwork and getaways to Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. The auction money and donations will go towards equipment for the hospital’s home healthcare program.

The station also conducted on-scene interviews with children who were willing to tell their survival stories.

Salsarita’s gave away free chips and The Cheesecake Factory donated free cheesecake to all who came to support the event.

The radiothon was free and open to the public. For more Star 102.1 events, click here.

Edited by Jessica Carr