Credit Union Movement Provides Support for Charitable Holiday TV Special

The 16th annual Miracle Season holiday special will air on Saturday, Dec. 10, at 7 p.m. to raise funds and awareness for the Seattle Children’s Hospital. Credit Unions for Kids is sponsoring the program, and volunteers from Alaska USA FCU will be on-hand to answer phones and collect pledges during the on-air pledge drive.

In addition to holiday music and entertainment, KOMO 4’s Steve Pool and Molly Shen will celebrate the inspiring lives of Seattle Children’s Hospital patients.

This year’s installment has a special twist, as all funds collected will honor Kathi Goertzen, who has hosted all but two of the Miracle Season specials. In honor of Goertzen’s nearly 30 years of support of the hospital and her impact on our patients and families, donations through the show will help establish the new Kathi Goertzen Endowment for Pediatric Brain Tumor Research at Seattle Children’s. 

Goertzen is also in the midst of a long battle with cancer herself, which makes her appearance and continued involvement all the more meaningful.

“It’s part of what makes her so empathetic to our patients,” Kira Haller, manager of corporate giving for the Seattle Children’s Hospital Foundation, said of Goertzen’s illness. “It puts her in a special place in relating to our families.”

This also marks the third year that Alaska USA has participated in the telethon. A total of 12 Alaska USA branch employees will be participating, with some answering phones on-air and others working behind the scenes to support the cause.

Alaska USA has had a long connection with Children’s Miracle Network, the organization that provides funds to support programs at Seattle Children’s Hospital. The Alaska USA Foundation, which was established in 2003, raises funds for 501(c)(3) charitable organizations that provide services to children, veterans, and active duty members of the armed services and their families. Throughout the year, Alaska USA conducts periodic fundraising campaigns in the branches to raise money for the foundation, including their most recent effort, which involves the sale at branches of limited-edition calendars featuring photos taken by Alaska USA employees.

Money raised by Washington branches is targeted to organizations in Washington, ensuring that the money raised is used locally. For the past several years, Alaska USA has contributed Foundation funds to Children’s Miracle Network, forging a distinctive relationship with the Seattle Children’s Hospital in the process. The credit union’s top employee fundraisers are given the opportunity to be on-hand at the hospital for the check presentation, at which time they are also able to tour the hospital and see the quality of care that’s provided to children.

As its employees became increasingly invested, Alaska USA’s involvement in the Miracle Season telethon was a natural extension.

“Once you’ve done the telethon, you want to do it again,” said Dee Rey, a regional vice president for Alaska USA. “It’s so great to be able to contribute to such an important part of our community, and we’re lucky that Alaska USA encourages our participation.”

Donations made as part of the telethon will be matched by sponsors like Credit Unions for Kids, giving all donations a chance for greater impact. Donations can be made online before the show airs, and a preview of the hour-long show is also available on the Seattle Children’s Hospital website.


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