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Their day started at 5 a.m. Six hours later on this Monday in November they’re as lively, friendly and funny as they sounded on the air. Meet Robbie, Dave and Moose -- DJs from “The Fox Morning Show” on The Fox 107.9 in Fargo.

“Want a donut?” asks Dave Jacobs in his gruff voice, pointing to a box of powdered sugar donuts. A giant KISS poster on the far wall of their radio studio triggers an 80s flashback.

But last Sept. 21, 22 and 23, they gave up their comfy, well-equipped digs. They broadcast live from the Sunmart parking lot on 25th St., giving voice to “61for61” -- the annual radiothon to benefit Sanford Roger Maris Cancer Center.

Crank it up

“This year’s event just flew by,” says Dave, 14-year radiothon veteran along with Robbie Daniels. Moose Johnson joined five years ago. Several others participate, too -- Jim Daniels, Jake, longtime volunteer “Thumper” (Bob Gregor) and many more.

Dave attributes the pace of this year’s radiothon to the jam-packed schedule that offered something for everyone -- a silent auction, cookout, outdoor games, car/motorcycle show, live entertainment and more. Other highlights:

    * 61 donors registered for the Bone Marrow Donor Drive.
    * 85 “Bottles of Hope” created from recycled medicine bottles and given to cancer patients.
    * 620 entrants in the Home Run/Walk.
    * 154 chemo caps donated by Boucle Yarn Studio.
    * 120 skaters in “Skating for Breast Cancer” at the Teamsters Arena.
    * 412 motorcyclists in the Mystery Ride.
    * Hundreds called the Donation Hotline!

It's not too late to do your part. To donate, just go to

Memorable moments

Several prerecorded stories of patients’ cancer journeys inspired listeners throughout the radiothon. Others were told live on the air, including one that Moose will never forget.

A gentleman came up to him the second day of the radiothon. Just one hour before, he learned he had cancer.

“His mind was racing and the words just spilled out. It was raw emotion,” says Moose. “The stories in this radiothon are real and they put you on a rollercoaster of emotions. There’s a reason I wear dark glasses during this broadcast…”

Robbie was taken with the Friday evening candlelight vigil, complete with music from the “Heather and Thistle” bagpipers.

“It was beautiful and a great way to honor those we love who have lost their battle or are fighting it,” says Robbie. “It reminded me, too, of the incredible people we’ve met over all these years -- and the lasting friendships.”

Dave can’t pinpoint one single moment that stood out. “I loved all of it -- every minute,” he bellows. “Every year I sit back and quietly watch what’s happening at this radiothon -- the people calling in their pledges or walking up and signing the wall of honor. This event transcends radio and ratings. It’s a mankind thing. And it’s pretty amazing.”

Touching lives

The 2011 radiothon raised $188,000, bringing the 14-year total to $1.4 million. The funds have supported research, education and programs that benefit patients and families.

A sampling:

    * The embrace Cancer Survivorship Program redefines survivorship, offering meaningful connections, timely information, follow-up clinics and more.
    * The Risk Assessment Program helps answer important questions in families where cancer seems prevalent.
    * The Palliative Care Program brings comfort and relief to patients with difficult-to-manage symptoms, whether in serious illness or at life’s end. The program includes a dedicated hospital unit with specially trained staff.
    * The Oncology Nurse Navigation Program offers highly trained nurses to guide patients and families
    Posted Date: December 2011