Like Most of 2020, Q98.5's annual 'Country Cares for St. Jude Kids' Radiothon looked much different behind the scenes, though it would likely go unnoticed by the audience. In years past. there were volunteers in the Rockford call-center, guests in the studio, and the amazing team from A.L.S.A.C. providing guidance to the on-air staff as we put on our A-game and do what we do best all for the same reason, to raise funds to find cures and save children. In 2021, very limited guests in-studio and our St. Jude team joined us via ZOOM.

American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities (ALSAC) was founded by Danny Thomas in 1957 to be the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and its sole mission is to raise the funds and awareness necessary to operate and maintain the hospital. (

In the almost five years I've been with Q98.5 we've never set a monetary goal for the St. Jude radiothon. The only "goal", if you will, is to educate everyone who turns to Q98.5 about the efforts of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The planning and preparations and the radiothon itself is quite an effort, trust me. But, you'll never hear us complain because we are truly humbled to be able to be a part of the cause and a part of the St. Jude family.

In 2020, Q98.5 had planned on more events in one year to raise money for St. Jude than ever done in the 25+ year history of our relationship with the organization. Our bags (cornhole) tournament, concerts, boards + brush, special lunch events, etc, it was all canceled because of COVID-19. To put it into a financial perspective, the bags tournament alone brought in just over $10,000 for the 2020 radiothon. It's a good guess to say we missed out on nearly $20,000 to add to the 2021 total. This seems like bad news but, actually, 2021 turned out to be unprecedented. (I think this is the first time I've used that word in a positive manner.)

The two-day, 24-hour Q98.5 Country Cares for St. Jude Kids Radiothon brought in $83,430! Truth be told, both Lil Zim (Shannon Zimmerman) and I were hoping for at least $50.000. Again, we never set a goal, ever. Considering the financial devastation connected to COVID-19, we kind of individually had the feeling the number would be significantly lower than years past, Thankfully, we were wrong. Had events for raising extra funds for St. Jude actually happened, the total would have likely surpassed $100,000, something that hasn't happened in almost a decade.

With all that said, to all St. Jude Partners In Hope, thank you! You did this, not use. We're there to steer the ship, but you're the reason researchers are able to continue to fight to stop children from dying of cancer and other diseases. You are the heroes.

JB Love is ½ of  Q98.5's Lil Zim & JB In The Morning, weekday mornings from 5:00 a.m. to 10 a.m. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook.

LOOK: 28 Modern Black History Makers & Moments

More From Rockford's New Country Q98.5