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Making a cross-cultural gesture of hope

by Nelson Harvey, Aspen Daily News Staff Writer

It’s unlikely that many of the Latinos who listen to La Nueva Mix, a popular Spanish radio station based in Glenwood Springs, know who Ella Dreamer is.

And unless they read the local English language newspapers, they’re unlikely to know her story: how the 9-year-old girl from Rifle is suffering from a rare and terminal form of childhood cancer. How she’s undergone several rounds of radiation treatment free of charge at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. and how, despite the ordeal, she may not have long to live.

Yet whether they know her or not, La Nueva Mix listeners did Dreamer and families like hers a tremendous service last week when they donated $53,245 to St. Jude during a two-day marathon fundraiser hosted by La Nueva Mix.

St. Jude charges nothing for the cutting edge cancer treatment it provides to children, and it relies on private donations for 75 percent of its revenue. Media outlets across the country hold fundraisers for the hospital all year long, but the success of the first-year La Nueva Mix event, which took place over two 12-hour shifts on March 13 and 14, came as a shock to staff at St. Jude and the radio station alike.

“[The Western Slope] is such a small market that we all really went in thinking that to raise between $24,000 and $25,000 would be a good response,” said Paty Sands, a Denver-based event marketing representative for St. Jude who coordinates fundraisers throughout Colorado.

In the end, the station raised more than twice that amount.

Read the complete article on the Aspen Daily News