Known for his tireless work supporting Niswonger Children’s Hospital and other community needs, Don Raines – the co-creator of the Niswonger Children’s Hospital Radiothon – is the 2018 recipient of the Mountain States Foundation’s Spirit Award.
The annual Spirit Award is an honor given to a person who has passion for his or her community, is recognized as a leader in the region, is highly respected among peers and has demonstrated support for Mountain States Health Alliance’s mission while giving unselfishly of his or her time and talents.
“Don truly embodies all the characteristics of the Spirit Award,” said Bob Cantler, chair of the Mountain States Foundation Board of Trustees. “It’s an honor to name him as the 2018 recipient. Don not only helped create one of the children’s hospital’s largest annual fundraisers, but he has also filled numerous volunteer roles throughout our community. He’s always the first to step up and help out whenever it’s needed.”
Raines is the main founder of the radiothon, which has raised in excess of $1 million over its five-year history. The radiothon benefits the region’s only children’s hospital and the children and families it serves. It has funded several critical needs, including the addition of the Special Care Unit, a unit in Niswonger Children’s Hospital dedicated to caring for babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome and other special needs.
“Without Don, there would be no radiothon,” said Alan Levine, president and chief executive officer of Mountain States. “Don is the driving force behind the radiothon, using his knowledge and connections to create the event and drive it forward. He has generated community enthusiasm and momentum that continues to build. The impact he has had on the children and families who depend on Niswonger Children’s Hospital is tremendous.”
The annual radiothon – created in 2013 – involves individuals and businesses throughout the community who raise and donate money as well as volunteer to work the radiothon phone lines. The event has spread to local schools, where students perform fundraising efforts, and Raines has helped recruit numerous local restaurants to contribute part of their earnings on designated “Dine Out for Kids” days. The radiothon has become not just a fundraising drive for a good cause but also a celebration of community.
In addition to serving as committee chairman of the radiothon, Raines has also served in many other volunteer roles throughout the region, including as a member of the Mountain States Foundation’s Washington County board of directors. Raines is senior affiliate partner at Go Resources Group – a resource company for the broadcast industry – and has spent 33 years in broadcasting sales.
As an avid community volunteer, Raines has served as president of the Johnson City Lions Club, director of the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce and director of the Johnson City Chamber of Commerce, member of the East Tennessee State University Foundation, member of the board of directors for the Boys & Girls Club of Johnson City/Washington County, member of the ETSU Alumni board of directors, member of the allocation committee for the United Way of Washington County, member of the board of directors for the Lions Volunteer Blind Industries and many other roles.
Raines and his wife, Petra, have also generously helped sponsor many Mountain States Foundation events, donating money to the same causes they volunteer for.
Raines will receive his award at the Mountain States Foundation’s 28th annual Spirit Gala. The black-tie gala is set for Jan. 27, 2018, at 5:30 p.m., and will be held at VENUE at the King Centre in Johnson City. The event benefits the healing garden renovation project at the Johnson City Medical Center. You can learn more about that project and purchase tickets to the gala by visiting mshaFoundation.org.