Children's Hospital is official charity of Rhythm & Booms - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Children's Hospital is official charity of Rhythm & Booms

Posted: Updated: Jun 26, 2014 11:27 PM

MADISON (WKOW)-- This year Rhythm & Booms will donate some of its proceeds to a fund at American Family Children's Hospital..

"We see the doctor once, twice a month,” said Larry Droster.

Melissa and Larry's son Jacob has Cerebral Palsy. He's a patient at American Family Children's Hospital and often stays there for extended periods of time. But Jacob's family, like all those staying with loved ones here, needs to eat dinner each night.

"You're here day after day,” Melissa said. “With money, it's expensive here, to get food when you don't have a lot of money.”

The hospital's Greatest Need Fund, one of its Patient Care Funds, provides free meals for patients and their families.

“You don't have to worry about coming up with money for the next meal,” Larry said.

The meal program serves at least three dinners each week and capacity at the children's hospital is 87 beds.  In total the meal program costs roughly $100,000 a year. The hospital draws roughly $400,000 from the Greatest Need Fund annually, which also provides services like counseling and play events for kid patients.

“What we try to use (the fund) for is to support the needs of patients and families to help them cope with the hospital experience,” said Jeff Poltawsky, vice president of the hospital.

Which is why those with kids being treated at AFCH say the free meals are so important.

“It's one of those things you don't really think about until it comes around and you're hungry, or it's meal time, and by then it's difficult to get something in place really quickly,” said Tammy McDanel, whose daughter is a patient.

The hospital says it doesn't have a goal for how much it's hoping to raise through Rhythm and Booms this year, but it's hoping to continue the tradition as the event's official charity in the future.

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