Monday, March 1, 2010

St Jude Radiothon

I've been talking about it for months and it finally came/went. Seriously, our St. Jude Radiothon is my favorite part of my job.

In so many ways, my life has been changed by St Jude and our radiothons. There have been so many pivotal events that surround them. For instance, my first radiothon was where I met "The Guy" for the first time.... I'd been there for 6 months and had never laid eyes on him. Then, he walked into the room, we randomly started talking, and I thought to myself, "Uh-oh. I may be in trouble." That was four years ago, lol.

My first radiothon was where I started to really fall in love with radio. Something about that event clicked with me. It's also where my mentor and predecessor really took notice of me and decided that I was someone she could really invest in.

The next year was when people started talking about me like I really had a chance at following up Tunie, in this job. She flat-out said that one day I was going to have her job. I remember that TG and I were bickering back and forth..... he goes, "Ok, Tun-ie."..... "Hey, I'm just practicing.".... Tunie says, "Yeah, when I retire, she's taking over.".... "Well, what if we prefer you, Tunie?".... at which point our rep started yelling at him, lol.... "I'm just kidding. She knows I'm kidding. I can't wait for her to get this job. She's going to be great at it."

That same year, J and Tunie were arguing about our radiothon being too close to CRS (Country Radio Seminar). J actually went to a calendar and said, "In 2010, the radiothon is going to be the SAME WEEK as CRS! We are going to have to change the date!" ..... Tunie said, "In 2010, I will be gone and you are going to have to argue with Jessica about it." LOL, that was in 2007. And, yes, the two conflicted, this year.

The next year, 2008, I ran into some things that hit me square in the face that had nothing to do with the task at hand. Still, though, it happened those same days. It was really weird.

Last year, in 2009, I was given my job on the second day of the radiothon. It was SO fitting. It was my 4th radiothon. I had been there exactly 3 1/2 years. It was the one thing about my job that I knew 100% how to do and the thing I was the most passionate about. I remember sitting in the phone bank room, talking with TG (and texting with him about things that we couldn't say outloud).... I knew there was going to be "a meeting" with the PTB as soon as they were all in the building. He kept saying, "I don't know why you're nervous. You have the job."..... "You don't know that.".... "Yes, I do. They would be stupid." When I was told that I had the job, they also asked me not to say anything until after everything was over and our owner could make an official announcement. I went back upstairs and he goes, "How was your meeting?"..... "Fine.".... "See, I told you."

Now, it's 2010. Everything has come to such a full circle, in so many ways. I don't exactly know how to explain it, but it's like a new year starts. I also, to some extent, feel like I'm on a personal mission to save those kids, lol.

See my mommy on the right? She came both days and stayed all day Friday to help.

My AWESOME intern, L. I will actually cry when her internship is up.

Busy volunteers

Food, food, and more food....... seriously, we eat SO much over the two and a half days.

Jessi and Danielle, our St Jude reps

Our mailroom..... some local high school students came in to help...

D answering phones at 5:30 in the morning....

More phone room volunteers.... it's a little insane, but I love our conference room when it's in phone bank mode. I also love Starbucks Green Tea (which is sitting on the table in the picture).

R cheeses it up for the camera.

Jessi and Danielle read out how much T raised, while on the road. He made a goal of $1,000 and promised he'd shave his head if he made it. It took a last-minute donation, but he made it!!

Jessi and I...... LOVE her. She actually got a new job on Wednesday and will be moving. I'm really sad. Every year we have a new main rep. I really got along with our last one, Toni, but Jessi and I have become true friends.

M and I

J's heart and soul is also in this cause. Due to some unforeseen circumstances, she was on the air for 16 of the 28 hours we did the radiothon.

Our Sherrif's Dept always come in to answer phones during the last shift. We LOVE these guys!!!

J and I..... one of the best friends you could ask for.

The infamous check picture..... we raised $143,731.

We raised a lot of money, but I was a little disappointed. That was the least amount we'd ever raised....... I know the economy and Haiti are major factors, but I'll admit to taking it pretty personally, lol. We can't control the outside factors, but there was some internal drama that I feel hampered us. Who knows, we could have been at complete harmony and still raised the exact same amount. However, I think that we might have felt a little better about it.

It's funny.... there was more teamwork in cleaning up and getting out of there than EVER before. We pulled together more in that last 30 minutes than in the three days before. Usually, it's about 2-3 people cleaning up, lol. I'm not sure what it was (it may or may not have been the "Jessica is about to have a meltdown" vibe I may or may not have been giving off), but we got it done fast.

There were a few loose ends to clear up and then it was out for some celebration and commiseration, with the girls.

The last four standing at 9pm..... L, Jessi, myself, and M


Lil' Woman said...

That is a great amount to raise girl. I'm so happy to know a gal like you who make a difference like this! :)

Melissa said...

That is so awesome! Loved reading this, you can "feel" your excitement!! :) That is amazing that you are such a huge part of that!

Brittany Ann said...

Awww, so awesome! Nice work, my friend!

Emily said...

congrats girl!! go you:) Such a great cause to raise money for!! yay

Marianne said...

I just found your blog from Gen McNulty's and am intrigued by the work you do for St. Jude's! Ever since I've been a little girl I've wanted to be a nurse there... Lord only knows if that will ever happen.

You're blog is great, count me in as a follower :)


Jess said...

Hey Marianne! Thanks for joining!!

I don't actually work for St. Jude..... I work for a radio station that raises money for them. St Jude has a program called "Country Cares for St Jude Kids" and has radiothons all over the country. We are one of those stations.

That said, I've been blessed enough to visit the hospital several times. It's such an amazing place.

I hope your dream comes true!!!!