MINNEAPOLIS — The radiothon was "virtual," but it's incredible impact will be real.
Vikings receiver Adam Thielen and his Thielen Foundation partnered with KFAN 100.3-FM and iHeart Radio-Minneapolis on Thursday for a Minnesota Covid Relief Virtual Radiothon that ran from 6 in the morning to 6:30 in the evening, raising more than $280,000 along the way.
Corporate sponsors, several of which offered matching donations during specific hours, and listeners teamed on the effort.
Thielen participated in multiple radio programs throughout the day from his home because of social distancing guidelines to limit the spread of coronavirus.
According to data by Johns Hopkins University & Medicine, there are more than 1.6 million confirmed cases of the COVID-19 disease, which has officially been attributed to more than 95,000 deaths worldwide since late 2019.
Thielen joined KFAN 100.3-FM's four daily programs (The Power Trip, 9 to Noon with Paul Allen, The Common Man and Bumper to Bumper with Dan Barreiro) and other iHeart Radio-Minneapolis stations.
"It's a super-exciting day for us," Thielen said on The Power Trip. "It felt like game day. I couldn't sleep for two hours last night, just thinking about all of the things we were going to talk about and do."
Current Vikings Kirk Cousins, Kyle Rudolph and C.J. Ham called in for segments, and so did former teammate Cordarrelle Patterson. Thielen also had help from his family:
Minnesota sports figures who participated included Ryan Carter, Zach Parise, Lindsay Whalen, Ben Leber, Mardy Fish, Matt Birk, Alex Stalock, Joe Mauer, Rashod Bateman, P.J. Fleck, Tyler Johnson, Robert Smith, Ryan Saunders, Bill Guerin and Richard Pitino.
Vikings superfans Nick Swardson and Josh Duhamel also phoned in for segments, and a young fan named Quincy knew just what to wish for on his birthday:
The donations will be equally divided between the following four organizations and applied to their most urgent COVID-19 needs:
The Salvation Army – The Twin Cities Salvation Army stands ready to meet the needs of people impacted by COVID-19 and has ramped up its efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus with its most important programs – food, emergency assistance and housing.
Second Harvest Heartland – Second Harvest Heartland is providing emergency food boxes so those experiencing hunger can access needed meals while reducing their risk of exposure. Second Harvest Heartland is coordinating an effort to distribute meals prepared by local restaurants through Loaves and Fishes – a free public dining program with 30 locations.
M Health Fairview – The University of Minnesota and M Health Fairview are at the forefront of the Coronavirus pandemic in research and care. The need for medical protection equipment and safety gear for patients and staff is at an all-time high, especially for those treating currently ill patients who are at a greater risk of contracting COVID-19. Funds from Thielen Foundation will go directly to purchase N95 masks, surgical shields, gowns and other essential equipment to protect patients and frontline caregivers.
MN Disaster Recovery Fund for Coronavirus – The Minnesota Council on Foundations and Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation created this fund to support community needs as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic. Funds will serve both short- and long-term needs that arise within communities, due to coronavirus and future disasters that occur within the state of Minnesota.
Thielen announced the plans for the radiothon on April 2, along with an initial commitment of $100,000 from Thielen Foundation for the above organizations.
About Thielen Foundation
Thielen Foundation was founded in 2018 and aims to create programs that will equip and empower kids to reach their full potential in life. For more information, please visit thielenfoundation.org.