By RODNEY HO/ firstname.lastname@example.org, originally Wednesday, July 13, 2016
News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB raised more than $1.5 million yesterday from its listeners for the AFLAC Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Center.
That’s the second highest total in the 16-year history of the event, said “Smilin’ ” Mark McKay, traffic reporter at the station who rides the helicopter every morning over Atlanta and shoots amazing shots of the sunrise he posts on his Facebook page.
The highest total was in 2014 when the station raised about $1.6 million.
The current local talk-show hosts, including Scott Slade, Clark Howard, Herman Cain and Erick Erickson, helped out over the 37-hour care-a-thon this past Monday and Tuesday. And per tradition, retired talk host Neal Boortz came by as well. (He now lives in Naples, Fla. but always makes it a point to return to Atlanta for the Care-a-thon.)
Braves player Jeff Francoeur and Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan contributed packages to encourage people to donate.
Over 16 years, the station has now raised more than $18 million.
“It was like ABBA was back together,” said Belinda Skelton, former producer for Boortz until he retired in early 2013. “We did not skip a beat. Someone said, ‘Who are you insulting and offending?’ He said, “Belinda, mainly.’ We had a blast. This has always been something near and dear to his heart. It’s the one time of year all of our talent gets together for one cause. It’s the one thing that’s on everybody’s calendar. It’s a family reunion.”
Skelton, who hosts her own lifestyles show on Saturday afternoons on WSB, said her favorite moment this year was when they were talking to a child named Kyle, who was going through cancer treatment. Boortz was joking about his own baldness when Kyle asked to sign the top of his head. Boortz said he had nothing to write with but Skelton quickly came up with a Sharpie. Boortz couldn’t say no and this was the result:
The Care-a-thon was pushed back earlier this year than normal because of the upcoming national conventions.