TV2 hosts marathon broadcast for Akron Children’s Hospital

Members of the TV2 staff play a board game as part of their 25-hour marathon for Extra Life, to raise money for Akron Children’s Hospital on Saturday, November 4, 2017.

Jack Kopanski

For 25 hours, Kent State’s student-run television station, TV2, played games with thousands of other teams across the country in Extra Life, an organization dedicated to raising money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

To raise the money, Extra Life puts on a 24-hour fundraising and gaming marathon. From 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Sunday, with the time change making it a 25-hour event, TV2 hosted newscasts and other original programming in its Franklin Hall studio. Other segments included station members playing video games, eating hot wings and even mud wrestling.

TV2 played for Akron Children’s Hospital, with an initial fundraising goal of $2,000. By the end of the marathon, the station raised $4,220. That amount was good enough to rank TV2 193rd of more than 5,000 competing teams.

Jaden Parise, the programming director for TV2, suggested the idea for the fundraiser and was overcome with emotion after hitting their initial goal.

“The fact that we were able to raise over four thousand dollars and break into the top 200 teams participating in Extra Life is astounding,” Parise said. “It was an honor to run such an amazing event, to be there all 25 hours and get to read off the names as the donations poured in.”

For Parise, a senior digital media production major, the cause is one that is close to his heart.

“When I was growing up, I was visiting Riverside Children’s Hospital in Columbus constantly to see both my friend who had cancer, and my little brother Gianni who always seemed to be going in and out for some medical reason when we were growing up,” Parise said. “When I joined TV2, I thought it was the perfect platform for Extra Life. It took me four years of pitching the idea to people … before Anna Huntsman, our GM, gave an enthusiastic ‘yes.’”

Huntsman said this was not only a great thing from a fundraising standpoint, but also as a way to bring the station together.

“This semester, I was looking for opportunities for TV2 to reach out to your community, as well as way  to get every single person at the station working towards a common goal,” Huntsman said. “When Jaden brought the idea of a charity telethon to me, this seemed like the perfect fit.”

Huntsman said that she never doubted that they could reach their goal, but was amazed that they surpassed it only six hours into the marathon.

“It warmed my heart not only knowing that we raised literally thousands of dollars to help sick and injured children, but seeing TV2 members across all departments work extremely hard to promote and execute the fundraiser with passion and enthusiasm,” Huntsman said.

Parise said the long hours are worth the results.

“Sure we lost some sleep this weekend,” Parise said. “But it was worth it because we were doing it for the kids.”

Jack Kopanski is an assigning editor. Contact him at [email protected].