La Jefa radio holding St. Jude radio-thon

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

A Pelham-based Hispanic radio station is hitting the airwaves for a combined 24 hours July 21-22 to raise money for a children’s medical research and health care organization.

The La Jefa radio station, which operates off Yeager Parkway in Pelham, is filling its station with volunteers from the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. each day, and is seeking donations from listeners to benefit the hospital.

St. Jude, which is in Memphis, Tenn., offers medical care to children regardless of their families’ abilities to pay. The hospital also researches cures for many deadly childhood illnesses.

Last year, the radio-thon raised more than $45,000 to donate to the hospital, and La Jefa is looking to set a new record this year, said radio station spokesman Orlando Rosa.

Every hour, the station sets a new monetary goal to reach within 60 minutes, and the on-air disc jockeys keep listeners updated on the fundraising status, Rosa said.

“We will go on air and say ‘OK, we need nine more calls this hour.’ The phone will ring, and we will say ‘OK, we only need eight or seven more calls,’” Rosa said.

Rosa said the station chose St. Jude because of the hospital’s accepting and caring nature.

“No matter where you are from in the world, no matter what race or ethnicity you are, they will help you out,” Rosa said. “We got a chance to go to the hospital in Memphis and talk to the children there. They are just doing some amazing things over there.”

St. Jude volunteer Michelle Brown, who was in the La Jefa studio July 21, said the La Jefa fundraiser usually has a festive feel, and is something she has looked forward to since last year.

“It’s definitely been a great experience. The whole feel here is just so fun,” Brown said.

To make a donation to the radio-thon, call the station at 800-303-1135, or visit Aquimandalajefa.com and click on the “Promesa y Esperanza de St. Jude” link.