FAIRBURY, NE — In southeast Nebraska and northeast Kansas, listeners of NCN Radio Station Ol’ Red 99.5 are stepping up in a big way for St. Jude.

"Honestly I'm blown away," Ol' Red 99.5 Operations Manager Trevor Steinmeyer said. "The highest we've done up to this point was $77,000 and our total this year $95,494 — so close to $96,000 — I'm fully confident next year we'll make it to six digits and be over $100,000.  

Steinmeyer was one of many who spent hours on-air encouraging people to donate. The eighth iteration of the event smashed the previous record set by the station back in 2019.

Much of that success can be attributed to members of communities in the area hat filled out Ol’ Red’s Wall of Hope, which was newly added to the event this year.

"A new name [was put up] every time someone donated $19 dollars a month, they got the brand new shirt I'm wearing," Steinmeyer said. "They continue the mission of St. Jude and that's saving kid's lives."

The staff working around the clock during that time as well, staying on-air for 12-hours each on Wednesday and Thursday. Flood Communications Senior Vice President Brad Achtemeier credited their hard work.

"It really takes a lot of effort and time and it's really impressive to me that the staff pulls it off and we don't miss a beat on the stuff we do regularly either," Achtemeier said.

All that work culminating in a new station record of money brought in to go toward the fight against childhood cancer.

"Rural populations," Steinmeyer said. "I mean, you're talking about blue collar, hard workers. People who will go to bat for their neighbors anytime. That's what sets us apart from bigger cities. If we can raise that much money, imagine what other people can do."

This year’s total of $95,494 brings Ol’ Red’s all-time total raised for St. Jude to $521,633. 

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital prides itself on relying solely on donations and not charging its patients for any of the care they provide.