23rd annual Ronald McDonald House telecast Saturday

23rd annual Ronald McDonald House telecast Saturday (Image 1)

Social media sensation Kid President, also known as Robby Novak, and his sister Lexi stay at the Nashville Ronald McDonald House when seeking treatment for their brittle-bone disease.

Their story is one of many to be featured during the 23rd annual “Calls for Kids” Telecast fundraiser on Saturday, April 13, highlighting RMHC of Nashville families and community organizations that support the charity.

The Telecast, benefiting Ronald McDonald House Charities of Nashville, will be broadcast live on Saturday, April 13, from 7 to 10 p.m. on WKRN, Nashville's News 2.

It will also be streamed live on the WKRN website. The Telecast will be hosted by Nashville's News 2 personalities Neil Orne, Lisa Patton, Samantha Fisher and Justin Bruce.

Proceeds from the Telecast support the 32-bedroom Ronald McDonald House and the Ronald McDonald Family Room, located on the fifth floor of the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt. The funds make it possible for RMHC of Nashville to serve all families, regardless of their ability to pay anything to stay.

“Our annual ‘Calls for Kids' Telecast aims to raise funds and include the Greater Nashville community in the experience of the programs of RMHC of Nashville,” said Elizabeth Piercy, RMHC of Nashville executive director. “This year, we hope to gain more recognition and attention through the touching stories of all our families.”

During the Telecast, local celebrities, community leaders and volunteers field phone calls from donors. Contributions can be made during the event by calling 615-322-7900 or 866- 766-9933 or online at www.rmhcnashville.com.

 Donations prior to the event include becoming a “Minute-Match” Sponsor by matching one to 25 minutes of the Telecast with donations of $1,000 per minute. Those unable to view the Telecast may make a donation by calling, visiting www.rmhcnashville.com or mailing the donation to 2144 Fairfax Avenue, Nashville, TN 37212.

The evening also features interviews with families who have stayed at the House while their child received treatment at Nashville-area hospitals and a tour of the House and Family Room. This year's Telecast will tell the stories of six families:

  • Robby and Lexi Novak, (ages 9 and 11) siblings with brittle-bone disease, are from Henderson, Tenn., and both have battled the disease from birth. Their parents, Laurie and David, have stayed in the House with them for more than 30 nights over the past six years.
  • Theo Burks, a child from McMinnville, Tenn., has had multiple heart surgeries for his congenital heart defect, and his family has stayed at the House on three separate occasions. His mother, Susan Burks, organizes an annual “Snow Princess” pageant each year to give back to RMHC of Nashville, raising more than $30,000 in just three years.
  • Twins Caydence and Joselyn Martin were born prematurely in late 2012. Joselyn is still receiving care while trying to gain strength to go home with her family. Mother Brianna Martin and Caydence, residents of Clarksville, Tenn., have stayed in the House during the last four months of Joselyn's treatments.
  • Gabrielle Brown, now 15 years old, and her mother, Dee Henson, have stayed more than 300 days in the Nashville Ronald McDonald House as Gabby battles cancer. Gabby battled cancer in 2011 and returned to the House for chemotherapy treatments after she relapsed in 2012. Gabby and her mom are from Manchester, Ky.
  • Lillian Reavis, a child from Murfreesboro, Tenn., was born prematurely at 26 weeks in 2011 along with her twin brother, who passed away. Lillian is now 18 months old. Lillian stayed at the house for four months with her parents, Paul and Dana Reavis.
  • Katelyn Shelton, now 4 years old, received her first skull surgery at 6 months and her second surgery at 18 months after she was diagnosed with craniosynostosis, a birth defect preventing proper brain development. Marsi and Chris Shelton, Katelyn's parents, stayed at the House with Katelyn during her second surgery. The family, from Clarksville, Tenn., expects another skull surgery for Katelyn in the future.
  • The life of Matthew Litchfield will be celebrated through a tribute by his parents, Tricia and Jeff. Matthew passed away at just 14 years of age in October 2008 after battling CML, a rare form of leukemia. His family is from Hopkinsville, Ky.

The 23rd annual “Calls for Kids” Telecast sponsors are: Bridgestone Americas Trust, Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, VF Imagewear, Alpha Delta Pi Nashville Alumnae, Baptist Healing Trust, Modern Babies and Children Magazine, Hippie Radio 94.5, Comcast and WKRN Nashville's News 2. 

Community supporters for the Telecast include: 

Alpha Delta Pi Nashville Alumnae, Cumberland Valley Quilters, Earl Swensson & Associates, The Jordan Hackett Foundation, Schneider Electric – Square D Foundation, The Sleeping Bear Lodge, Taziki's Mediterranean Café, Tennessee Department of Transportation, and the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation of Women.

About Ronald McDonald House Charities of Nashville

The mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Nashville is to “keep families close” by providing essential resources and a “home away from home” for families of critically ill children receiving inpatient or outpatient medical care at Nashville-area hospitals. The Ronald McDonald House has served more than 11,700 families from throughout the country and around the world since it opened in 1991, and the Ronald McDonald Family Room at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt has provided services to 270,000 individuals since it opened in 2004.

For more information about Ronald McDonald House Charities of Nashville, please visit RMHCnashville.com.

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