MILWAUKEE, WI -- For years the morning team at WKLH 96.5 has entertained Milwaukee on the airwaves as we make our way though the morning. But Dave Luczak and Carol Caine, of the "Dave & Carole" show, do far more than just tell us about the interesting topics of the day and play those classic rock tunes that we love to jam out to so much. Year after year they make a noticeable impact on the community, by raising money for Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. In fact, they've raised millions of dollars.
"We couldn't do the things we do for kids without the Dave & Carole Miracle Marathon," Children's Hospital of Wisconsin Foundation vice president Jeff Stewart told CBS 58.
Every year at Children's, the Thursday and Friday before Memorial Day, Dave & Carole take their show on the road and into the lobby of the hospital to raise money for the worthiest of causes with the Miracle Marathon.
"We have funded pieces of equipment through the years," said Stewart. "From X-ray eequipment to blood testing equipment and all other things that really advance the care for kids here at Children's."
The money Dave & Carole have helped raise has also benefitted the unit that deals with patients from Flight for Life. And other patients -- like Ashly Counterman's daughter, Alexiana -- see their impact in her frequent visits to the hospital as well. Alexiana's currently undergoing treatment for Idiopathic Uveitis.
"Basically she's blind without her glasses," explained Counterman. "So we deal with inflamation, just with that. And we're here from this clinic building here, to the clinics over there, over to the other side [of the hospital campus] at the eye institute. And the doctors communicate so wonderfully."
Hospital foundation vice president Jeff Stewart described the annual money-raising campaign as critical to the care of their patients. That is a fact that has not escaped the WKLH morning team.
"It's a tremendous feeling as you are lucky enough to get into the Memorial Day weekend with your family, and you know that some of these people arew going to be stuck there," said Caine. "And you just hope that you've helped just a little bit."
"It's the most rewarding thing that we do on a year to year basis," said Luczak. "We've been doing it since 1998."
Their dedication to the cause helps transform the hospital lobby into a fundraising machine.
"So this area over here will be the phone bank'" described Stewart. "So there'll be 30 volunteers set up with phones, and the display board that shows where we are -- fundraising-wise."
Though it is easy to send loads of praise Dave & Carole's way, they simply deflect it onto others.
"I always have to remind them it's not me, it's not Dave, it's not the station," professed Caine. "It's the community, and you're just very lucky that you live in a community like this. So there's a lot of interaction. And it's very humbling, but it's also very heartwarming at the same time."
"We -- of the hundreds of radio-thons in North America -- are consistently number one in dollars raised per capita, and in the top three or four in overall fundraising every single year," Luczak pointed out. "That's despite the fact that, if you compare us to other cities, they have far more people."
Dave & Carole's community spirit of pitching in has hardly escaped the attention of those who benefit from their efforts either.
"We help out as well," Counterman shared. "My other children have been here as well. We've had their surgeries here. The hospital is absolutely wonderful. Do it, help."
The Dave & Carole Miracle Marathon, benefitting Children's Hospital of Wisconsin is making Milwaukee great.
The Miracle Marathon begins this Thursday, and members of the CBS 58 news team will take part in the phone bank. Children's Hospital of Wisconsin expects they will break the 20-million dollar mark this year in total donations, since the event began.